FBI, Assisting Agencies Comb Forsythe Woods in Mayetta

Nov 28, 2017
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Though officials would neither confirm nor deny any connection to the disappearance case of two teens reported missing from the New Lisbon Developmental Center in 1975, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its law enforcement partners conducted investigative activities in some densely wooded marshland of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge off of Mayetta Landing Road in Stafford Township Tuesday, according to FBI spokeswoman Doreen Holder.

Eagleswood Committeeman-elect Nick Sommaripa, who had walked up to the blocked-off site early in the morning, said an unnamed agent had told him they were looking for “something that has been in the woods for a long time.”

On the scene Tuesday, vehicles lined both sides of Mayetta Landing Road, which was closed to traffic. FBI Evidence Response Team workers were seen with surveying equipment and were joined by marked cars from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit. Later, a Stafford Township Volunteer Fire Co. truck was parked across the roadway. A long day was anticipated, as a food truck and portable restrooms were provided.

Also on the scene, FBI Public Affairs Officer Special Agent Jessica Weisman said she could give no information whatsoever as to the goings-on, although she was quoted in an August news report about the FBI’s having jumped at the chance to join the investigation and offer fresh eyes and better resources.

Refuge Manager Virginia Rettig could only say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was coordinating with the FBI as lead agency.

On Oct. 25, the FBI issued a press release announcing the case had been re-energized by “recent developments” that had “provided promising new information” and updates had been made to the FBI website concerning Steven Anderson and David Williams, who had gone missing when they were 17 and 12, respectively.

They disappeared from the New Lisbon Developmental Center (then called the New Lisbon State School), where they were residents and roommates. Both had developmental disabilities and were unable to care for themselves without supervision. Williams, a black male from Newark who would be 55 now, was epileptic, wore a protective helmet and needed to take daily anti-seizure medication; Anderson, a white male from Westville who would be 60 now, was in good physical condition but had trouble communicating, according to the FBI.

“According to various reports, the New Jersey Human Services Police Department, New Jersey State Police-Red Lion Station, Pemberton Township Police Department and the Air National Guard all were notified of the disappearance, and in the days following, assisted in the search, aided by the use of helicopters, bloodhounds and ground searchers. Both boys are listed as Missing Persons with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“NCMEC, located in Alexandria, Virginia, has been assisting in this investigation, and has created age progressed pictures of what Williams and Anderson may look like today.”

Law enforcement seeks resolution and closure for the families of the two missing men.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the Atlantic City Resident Agency of the Newark Office of the FBI at 609-677-6400 or the nearest FBI office. Tips can also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov/. Additional information about the disappearance of Williams and Anderson, including their missing persons posters, can be found at fbi.gov.

— Victoria Ford

victoria@thesandpaper.net

(Source: FBI)
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