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Dog Led Police to Kinnelon Man's Body in Apshawa Preserve

Police said wife called after her husband did not return home Saturday.

The body of a 51-year-old Kinnelon man was found by rescue volunteers and West Milford police in the woods of the Apshawa Preserve Saturday night after the dog he had gone hiking with earlier that day led authorities to him.

The man, Bjoern Waalberg, was dead when police arrived on the scene just after 7 p.m. when they were notified by Waalberg's wife that he had not returned home, Lt. John Matarese of the West Milford Police Department, said. The cause of his death is still under investigation and Matarese could not comment on whether Waalberg's death appears to be suspicious.

Matarese said Waalberg's wife had asked officers to check the parking area of the Preserve for her husband's vehicle. The Apshawa Preserve parking area is located in the southern portion of West Milford, near Highcrest Drive and Macopin Road.

The car was found in the parking area and Matarese said the West Milford Search and Rescue Team was notified and sent out to look for Waalberg. Volunteers found a dog, a Labrador retriever, that the wife reported had gone hiking with her husband, although Waalberg had not gone with any other people, Matarese said.

"The dog was located and the dog actually led the officers to the victim," Matarese said.

Kinnelon police were in communication with West Milford police during the search, Matarese said. The investigation is now being handled by the West Milford Police Department Detective Bureau.

Jake Mathews February 04, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Man's best friend
Joan February 04, 2013 at 09:11 PM
This situation is hard enough for the family without it being published like this, especially with kids in school. Give them some respect and privacy.
mimi February 05, 2013 at 01:31 PM
A faithful dog does it again. Gods angels on earth.
MaryBeth V February 05, 2013 at 03:18 PM
I have emailed the author in an attempt to have the story removed. The story is not accurate.
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan (Editor) February 05, 2013 at 03:34 PM
As I told MaryBeth, the information in this story was provided by the West Milford Police Department, specifically Lt. John Matarese. If anyone has other information that they would like me to confirm, I would be happy to do so and can be reached at ariana.cohn-sheehan@patch.com
Richard Dean February 06, 2013 at 12:24 AM
I believe the news release was most likely composed using the guidelines issued by the NJ Attorney General's office to the law enforcement agencies of our state. My condolences go out to Mr Waalberg's family. BTW, the Apshawa Preserve was the Borough of Butler's Apshawa Reservoir property which was sold to Passaic County 40 years ago.

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