Body found in New Jersey river identified as missing Wall Street Journal reporter

A body found in a New Jersey river is that of missing Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird, who disappeared more than a year ago, authorities announced Thursday.

Bird's remains were pulled from the Passaic River by dive teams Wednesday about a mile from where he vanished -- on the border of Morris and Somerset counties.

Bird, an avid hiker and father of two, was last seen by his family on Jan. 11, 2014, as he was leaving his Long Hill Township, N.J., home to go on a walk.

Bird, then 55, left his home without his cell phone. Despite extensive searches of the area -- which included rescue dogs -- authorities found no trace of Bird, a liver-transplant recipient and Boy Scout troop leader.

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Long Hill Township Police Chief Michael Mazzeo confirmed in a joint statement Thursday that the body was positively identified as Bird. Identification was made through dental records.

The cause and manner of death has not yet been determined, according to the statement.

On Wednesday evening, two men canoeing in the Passaic River came across a red jacket located near branches. They immediately notified authorities and police later found human remains, authorities said.

"The Bird family would like to thank the many members of law enforcement, especially Chief Michael Mazzeo and the Long Hill Township Police Department, for their tireless efforts to find David," family spokeswoman Carolyn Buscarino said in a statement following the announcement. "They would also like to thank the countless friends, neighbors and strangers who have prayed for David and for the family over the past 14 months"

Buscarino said the family is requesting privacy at this time.

A $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to Bird's return. The search for the missing father had been postponed for several weeks in January 2014 due to severe weather and heavy snow that blanketed the region through much of the winter.

Bird had worked for the Journal's publisher, Dow Jones & Co., for more than 20 years.