A couple from New Jersey have mysteriously disappeared after venturing into the Pine Barrens.
Gary Parker, 67, and his wife Lorraine, 60, from Warren Grove, NJ, drove into the protected wilderness area which covers more than a million acres – but did not return, according to reports .
Their ATV was later found near their wooded house with a shotgun still attached to it.
The couple’s chilling disappearance sparked a large-scale search and desperate appeals from the family.
The Parkers were last seen on November 17, but a neighbor told cops she spoke to Lorraine last weekend, according to the Asbury Park press.
An official search began on Tuesday. Their daughter, Lindsay Parker, announced that her parents were missing at 12:41 a.m. that morning. She wrote on Facebook later that day, her parents’ ATV was found near their home.
“My parents’ quad was found with my father’s shotgun attached to it. Still no sign of my parents, ”she wrote. “Their quad was found stuck in a field not far from their home that my father has used for years to bait deer. The tracking camera footage has nothing after the footage captured last week. “
The police didn’t say when the couple went missing, according to Patch.com. Stafford Police Captain James Vaughn said he did not believe the couple had gone hunting, noting that in the rural community “many people […] have hunting rifles close at hand ”, according to sandpaper.
Vaughn also said that even though the couple were in the elements for a few nights, he “hoped” they could survive because “[T]hey, they’re both passionate about the outdoors, ”he told the outlet.
When the two-day manhunt – which included more than 100 searchers, police dogs, ATVs, drones and air support – failed to find the couple, Stafford police turned the search to their detectives on Wednesday. and the Ocean County District Attorney’s Office.
Warren Grove is a small unincorporated community located in the Pine Barrens, 60 kilometers north of Atlantic City.
The mystique of the Pine Barrens was featured during a captivating episode of the third season of May 2001 of “The Sopranos” where Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) and Paulie “Walnuts” Gaultieri (Tony Sirico) take a thug into dense forests in the middle of winter to hit him, to lose him with their cool.
Los Angeles prosecutors in 2020 alleged that real estate heir Robert Durst buried his wife, Kathie, who disappeared there in 1982.
“For all of you who have ever watched ‘The Sopranos’, the Pine Barrens were famous… Pine Barrens soil is sand,” Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said at the time. “It doesn’t freeze, so if you kill someone in the middle of winter you must have sand to dig in. This is a notorious mafia graveyard.