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ATV Is Found Abandoned After New Jersey Couple Disappears During Ride Near Home

“Detectives are conducting interviews and following any leads or tips,” Stafford Township Police Capt. James Vaughn said of the ongoing search to find the missing couple.

By Jill Sederstrom
Lorraine Gary Parker Pd

Police are still searching for a New Jersey couple who mysteriously vanished after taking their ATVs into a protected New Jersey wildlife reserve.

Gary Parker, 67, and his wife Lorraine Parker, 60, are believed to have taken ATVs into the Pine Barrens before they went missing, although it’s unclear exactly when the married couple disappeared, according to The Asbury Park Press.

The couple was reportedly last seen on Nov. 17; however, a neighbor reported speaking to Lorraine at some point over the following weekend.

The couple’s daughter, Lindsay Parker, posted on Facebook on Nov 23 that her parents were missing and said investigators believed they may have been gone for “more than 24 hours” after going for a “quad ride in the woods near their home in Warren Grove.”

Later that same day, she posted a follow-up message, saying that police had discovered one ATV vehicle “along with my fathers shotgun, which was strapped to it” not far from the couple’s home but found “no sign” of either of her parents.

“Please keep both of them in your prayers,” she pleaded.

The Stafford Township Police Department has launched extensive searches of the heavily wooded area to try to find the couple, using a grid search to comb the area by foot, according to a statement from police. They also searched the area using ATVs, K-9s, drones and air support.

“At this time, they have not been located,” police said, adding that the case had been turned over the department’s detective bureau and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Stafford Township Police Capt. James Vaughn told The SandPaper the search remains ongoing.

“Detectives are conducting interviews and following any leads or tips,” he said. “So far, nothing.”

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office referred all questions about the case to the police department. Oxygen.com reached out to the Stafford Township Police but did not receive an immediate response.

The Pine Barrens already has an ominous reputation. Los Angeles prosecutors suggested last year that Robert Durst may have buried his missing wife, Kathie, in the woods back in 1982.

It was also showcased in a 2001 episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos” during which the characters Christopher Moltisanti (Michel Imperioli) and Paulie “Walnuts” Gaultieri (Tony Sirico) took a man out into the area to kill him but lost their target in the dense forest, according to The New York Post.

“For any of you who’ve ever watched ‘The Sopranos,’ the Pine Barrens were famous,” Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John Lewin told the Durst jury in 2020, according to the Post. "The soil at the Pine Barrens is sand."

“It doesn’t freeze, so if you kill somebody in the middle of winter, you need to have sand you can dig into," he added. "This is a notorious Mafia burial ground.”

The Pine Barrens, which are also sometimes known as the Pinelands, comprise more than 1.1 million acres and are made up of dense pine forests, sandy roads and cedar swamps, according to VisitNJ.org.

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