Massive search failed to find Stafford couple gone missing: What we know

STAFFORD – After more than 100 volunteers, police officers and firefighters combed the woods of the Warren Grove section of the township, the search for Lorraine and Gary Parker entered a new phase.

On Wednesday evening, the Stafford Township Police Department turned the case over to its detectives and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. There has since been no word on the whereabouts of the couple.

About the case

Township police announced Tuesday morning they were searching for Gary Parker, 67, and Lorraine Parker, 60, who were believed to have gone into the Pine Barrens on all-terrain vehicles. Police later confirmed there was one ATV and it was found Tuesday morning near the couple's home with Gary Parker's shotgun strapped to it.

The couple was last seen on Nov. 17, although a neighbor reported speaking to Lorraine Parker last weekend, police said. There was no immediate word on whether the couple owned cellphones.

The couple's daughter, Lindsay Parker, reported them missing and alerted people on Facebook. The page was last updated Tuesday.

Still searching: Missing couple case handed to detectives, Ocean County Prosecutor

Gary and Lorraine Parker

The search

The police organized a massive sweep of the woods that included an extensive grid search by foot, ATVs, K-9s, drones and a helicopter.

The first day of the search was centered on the area around the couple's home on Cedar Bridge Road. On Wednesday, the operation focused on the woods between Route 539 and Warren Grove Road in Barnegat and Stafford townships, police said. Authorities urged hunters in the area to be vigilant.

There has been no updates from the Stafford police since Wednesday evening.

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Who to call

Authorities are urging anyone with information on the couple that could aid the investigation to contact the Stafford Township Police Department at (609) 597-8581 or Detective Sgt. Neil McKenna at nmckenna@staffordpolice.org.

Ken Serrano covers crime, breaking news, investigations and local issues. Reach him at 732-643-4029 or kserrano@gannettnj.com.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Married couple in Stafford NJ goes missing: What we know

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