Round-the-Clock Search Intensifies for Missing Wall Street Journal Reporter

David Bird went out for a walk late last Saturday afternoon, and vanished.

ByABC News
January 16, 2014, 7:42 AM
 Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird said he was going for a quick walk on Saturday, and has not been seen since.
Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird said he was going for a quick walk on Saturday, and has not been seen since.
Courtesy of the Bird family

Jan.16, 2014— -- A massive search has been underway in New Jersey for a Wall Street Journal reporter and father of two who went missing shortly after putting away Christmas decorations last weekend, family members said.

David Bird, 55, an energy markets reporter for the Wall Street Journal, told his wife, Nancy, that he was going for a quick walk near his home in Long Hill Township, N.J., at about 4:30 p.m. last Saturday. He did not take his cellphone, or his medications.

Worried when Bird did not return home after two hours, his wife reported him missing, family members said.

"He told his wife he was going for a short walk before the rain," Nancy Bird's sister, Chris Fleming, told ABC News. "He ran a marathon in November. He was very physical. He bikes and he has done triathlons. He wanted to go outside. It was completely within character."

According to Fleming, police have been searching around the clock for Bird, concentrating on a wooded area called Hicks Tract near the Bird home. They're also scoping out other routes Bird was known to walk or hike on. The search includes hundreds of people, including volunteers, and helicopters, all-terrain vehicles, horses and dogs. Divers have been searching the Passaic River.

"The whole town is on alert," Fleming said.

The family is also worried that Bird, who received a liver transplant nine years ago, is without his necessary medications, said Fleming.

When Bird was last seen, he was wearing a red raincoat, and a plaid yellow fleece with jeans and sneakers. He is 6 feet 1, weighs 200 pounds and has blue eyes and gray hair.

"We all love him dearly," Fleming said. "He's just funny and everyone loves being around him. That's why the whole community is pouring out to find him."

Long Hill Police Chief Michael Mazzeo said his department has found no evidence of foul play, the Wall Street Journal reported. "We're just befuddled by how little we have to go on," he told the Journal.

Gerard Baker, Dow Jones editor in chief and managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, said the paper had been cooperating with the search efforts.

"Mr. Bird is a longtime member of the Dow Jones newsroom," Baker said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with his family, and we are working with the Long Hill Township Police Department as they continue their search."

Fleming said Bird's family was trying to stay positive during this stressful time, and was grateful for the outpouring of support it had received from the community and everyone involved in the search.

"It is rare that a person realizes how amazing, loving and supportive their family, friends and entire community can be. Your prayers, positive thoughts and visits are keeping me strong for the kids and energizing my faith in David's safe return home," Nancy Bird said in a statement.

The family is urging anyone with leads or information on David Bird to call the Long Hill Township police department at 908-647-1800.