County Police Find Lost Worker in Watchung Reservation

County police, K-9 patrol called in, but Washington man returns without incident after getting lost on his walk in the woods.

A workman turned a Thursday afternoon hike through the Watchung Reservation into the start of a missing-persons investigation by Union County police.

During a routine patrol at 5:30 p.m.through the reservation, a Union County officer noticed an unocuppied alarm-company truck parked in the lot closest to Surprise Lake, according to Union County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska.

The officer examined the unlocked truck and noticed that the driver's personal belongings were in clear view, so he locked the truck and waited. He investigated the area and called for the county's K-9 unit and three Union County police officers were called to the scene to begin a search for the driver. 

At about 9:30 p.m., a 50-year-old resident of Washington, N.J., walked out of the woods and returned to the truck. He told the officer that he had decided to take a short walk but became disoriented in the dark and lost his way.

"We did commit some resources to finding the driver, and fortunately it ended on a positive note," said Vaniska. He added that the man required no medical attention.

Vaniska would not release the name of the man or the name of the company for which he worked.


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