The remains of a man reported missing in 2007 were discovered Tuesday by an engineering crew.
According to authorities, on May 15th, members of the Manchester Township Police responded to a heavily wooded area off of Ridgeway Boulevard to investigate the report of possible human remains being found by an engineering crew.
Upon arrival, Patrolman Jason Wiener met with the workers and learned that they had located, what they believed to be, a human skull in a heavily overgrown and swampy area along a bank of a stream commonly known as the Ridgeway Branch.
As a result of their findings, members of the Manchester Police Department’s Investigation Bureau, along with detectives from both the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit responded to the scene.
Once at the site of the skull, investigators were able to confirm that it was, in fact, that of a human.
Officials say the scene was subsequently secured and a thorough investigation conducted.
In doing so, investigators located additional human remains a short distance from where the skull was found.
Based on the condition of the remains, it appeared that the bones had been exposed to the weather and environment for an extended period of time.
According to authorities, the scene was documented and then excavated so as to uncover any additional remains and related evidence.
During the excavation, investigators located personal effects just under the ground surface that aided in the identification of the remains; specifically a pocket knife, a wristwatch and a wallet containing several pieces of identification.
Based on the investigation and evidence located at the scene, the human remains were identified by the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office as that of William Schmidbauer.
Police said Mr. Schmidbauer was reported missing from his Robin Street home in Cedar Glen West by his wife on September 23, 2007. In the days, weeks, and months following Mr. Schmidbauer’s disappearance, officers and investigators from both the Manchester Township Police Department as well as other law enforcement agencies, conducted several extensive searches of the area surrounding Cedar Glen West.
As recently as last year, investigators, with the assistance of cadaver dogs conducted another search of the areas surrounding Cedar Glen West with no success.
Police said that at this time, foul play is not suspected, however, the remains will be further examined by a NJSP Forensic Anthropologist.