Married couple missing in Pine Barrens

Authorities are continuing to search for Gary and Lorraine Parker, the married couple that went missing after going into a heavily wooded area in Warren Grove, the heart of the Pine Barrens and one of the most secluded and remote corners of New Jersey.

The Stafford Township Police Department has been searching for the Parkers since their daughter reported them missing on Nov 17.

Gary Parker, 67, and his wife Lorraine, 60, of Warren Grove, N.J., drove into the protected wilderness reserve that covers more than a million acres — but didn’t return, athough their ATV was found by their home with a shotgun strapped to it.

The couple’s chilling disappearance has prompted large-scale searches and desperate pleas from family.

“My parent’s quad has been found along with my father’s shotgun which was strapped to it. Still no sign of either of my parents,” wrote their daughter, Lindsay Parker. “Their quad was found stuck in a field not far from their home that my dad has used for years to bait deer. Trail cam footage has nothing after footage captured last week.”

Earlier in the week, the couple’s daughters, Lindsay and Hayley Parker, notified local police and took to Facebook with a plea to help find their parents.

On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the Stafford Township Police Department initiated an investigation into the two missing persons.

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.

The local police and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department ATV Unit have been conducting off-road searches of the Warren Grove area with more than 100 volunteers, police officers and firefighters.

The New Jersey State Police Aviation Bureau assisted as well but at this time, authorities are not seeking assistance in this search.

“I want nothing more than to physically search for my parents but police are not allowing anyone to assist,” said Lindsay Parker in a post on Facebook. “So many people have reached out and offered and I would love to tell them yes, but I myself am not being given that option. As soon as I am told differently I will inform everyone.”

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the couple is urged to contact Stafford Township police at 609-597-8581 or Detective Sergeant Neil McKenna of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-597-1189, ext. 8440.

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.

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