UPDATE: Burlington County Group Home Resident That Went Missing Found Dead; Search Continues for Second Man
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Eastampton Township Police Department Chief Joseph Iacovitti announced that the man whose body was found in Smithville Park on Saturday has been identified as one of the two men who went missing from a nearby Eastampton group home late last year.
According to authorities, Joseph Brockington, 56, died from hypothermia, Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood concluded after performing an autopsy today. The death was ruled an accident, and was no foul play involved.
Officials say Brockington disappeared from a group home on West Railroad Avenue on November 1, 2018 along with Juan Garcia, 58. The search continues for Garcia, who is Hispanic, stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black winter hat and black pants.
“We are very sad to report that the body of the person who was found was Mr. Brockington,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “We have been working closely with the Eastampton Police Department since their disappearance and had hoped for a better outcome. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Brockington’s family and friends. We have searched extensively for Mr. Garcia, including again over the weekend, and will continue to do so until we locate him. We will continue to hold out hope that he will be found safe.”
Police say the men were known to have enjoyed walking to the Wawa store located at the intersection of Route 38 and Route 206 in Southampton. Garcia, who is mentally handicapped, may not be carrying identification, and may not be receptive to having a conversation with someone who approaches him.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Eastampton Township Police Detective Doug Townsend at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-261-1717, or the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office at email@example.com or 609-265-5035.