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After 7 Years, 'Missing' Butler Man Found

Missing persons advocate said she still believes religious organization could be involved.

A man who had been declared missing since 2004 was found safely in September, according to a statement released by Capt. Jeffrey Paul speaking on behalf of Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi.

But it is possible that Timothy Carney was never missing at all.

According to Carney's family, the then-25-year-old was last seen on September 28, 2004 by his roommate, Roy Anthony, at their Butler Ridge apartment. Tri-Boro Patch that Carney allegedly called his employer to say he would be late for work and was not heard from after that. His car was found abandoned on the side of the road at the border of Elizabeth and Newark.

"Mr. Carney was reported missing on September 28, 2004. He was subsequently located on September 23, 2011 and as a result was cleared from the missing person’s database," Paul said Tuesday. "Mr. Carney was found alive and well but did not wish to disclose his whereabouts."

Carney's parents, Phyllis and Ed, spent years looking for their son and, with help from The Kristen Foundation, a national organization dedicated to bringing home missing persons, on several occasions paid for billboards to be placed on Route 23 advertising that Carney was missing and a phone number anyone who saw him should call.

Paul said Carney's parents were notified in September that he was located and that the missing person's case, which was filed jointly by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Missing Persons Unit and the , has since been closed.

A call to Carney's parents was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Joan Petruski, who founded The Kristen Foundation in 1998 after her own daughter went missing in 1997, said she and Carney's family members still believe that the Gospel Outreach, a religious organization led by Jim Lethbridge, could have influenced Carney to not make contact with his family for such a long time and could still be influencing him today.

"We know where he is and his family knows where he is but we don't really know what's in his mind right now," she said. "Hopefully, he'll stay put where he is."

Carney's mother told Tri-Boro Patch last March that her son and his roommate were both members of the Gospel Outreach and that the leaders of the organization became controlling, at one point insisting they accompany Carney to a hospital to visit his sick aunt because they believed he was lying about where he was going.

Petruski said Carney's family believes he is currently living in Chicago but that they are "as perplexed as anybody else" as to why he did not contact them for so long. While it seems as though Carney may have willingly not made contact with his family members, Petruski said she and his family are not discouraged that they put forth effort to search for him for so many years. Instead, they are just glad he is safe.

"We'd rather have him alive and well than any other circumstances," she said. "The family is happy about that and I don't think they hold anything (against him) other than they're happy he's alive and they'll work from there."

Annette Hayes August 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM
sunny_shores@hotmail.com August 15, 2012 at 08:19 PM
I am so glad that the parents have their Son back home. Good luck and best of wishes to all of you.
Grunkles August 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Unreal. This just makes me mad that all of those people took the time, and energy to try to find him, and it ends up just being some crackpot cult that steered this small minded man away from his loving family. He should be ashamed of himself for being such a twit, and hurting the ones that love him so very much. All for a stupid cult. I feel so very bad for that family.
mysti September 05, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Cults pry on lonely people. Its sick using religion in such a way. Using God to hurt and control people.
stephanie October 21, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Could it be possible he just chose to leave and it had nothing to do with the church? Maybe he wanted to live a lifestyle he felt his family would not approve of so in order to be happy he felt his only choice was to leave? Just a thought but still sad that his family who loves him so much have to suffer.
salimah December 07, 2012 at 02:26 PM
In the Disappeared programme it was mentioned that Tim did not have very many close friends, as he was growing up, I think he was very lonely. When he found the church group, it fulfilled a need for companionship. He was unhappy his family didn't like the church. He found a girlfriend at the church as well. His life's work was the book he was writing, and it was mentioned he carried it around with him at all times in a brief case, even to work. His girlfriend broke off with him, seems someone stole his car and briefcase, maybe in a struggle at the place his wallet was found. What I think is Tim had enough trauma and shock to bring on fugue state (reversible amnesia for memories ect} Description of fugue state is on wiki. I think the family should check him for this. On the disappeared programme on youtube they show a shot of his wallet on the ground at a car park, however he was in a bar arguing with a bar maid that she stole his wallet, he was not drinking alcohol only water. Something was wrong with his head, he got knocked out of reality. His lifes work, his book in his briefcase was stolen. Some criminal probably thought it was money in that brief case and ripped it off him, his book he was writing was his life, He got ripped out of reality when that went, coupled with the breakup, I think the shock short circuited his mind and he went into fugue state and remains there. Explaining why he hasn't contacted his loving family. He might not be well but he's alive.
Shonnah Landolt December 21, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Its amazing how the "church" would not know his whereabouts when they accompanied him to the hospital to make sure he wasn't "lying" abt visiting a sick family member.
julie leiva January 05, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Praise God he's found
Andre Borges January 08, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Another proof that religion is scam for the weak-minded.
katy January 10, 2013 at 11:53 PM
religion is not for the weak-minded. People such as the leader of this one cult not religion are the con artists that feed on people with low self esteem and no self confidence. Religion is not the problem con artists are !!!!
Laurence Smith January 12, 2013 at 06:22 AM
I wish it had been mentioned how he was found and if there has been any interaction with his family. The religious group drove him into being a withdrawn introvert. Authorities can't really sue him for the money that they spent looking for him as he left on his own. Tim clearly needs a therapist to straighten his mind out. I tend to think he had enough of being bilked by this group and thought the only way he could get away from them was to disappear and making it look like he had been the victim of foul play. If he is totally normal he should have his rearend lashed for the pain he has caused his family.
Pete Sarant January 14, 2013 at 08:58 AM
I think there's more to this story than meets the eye, first, the young man abruptly leaves his family and the church he's attending seems to be a cult following.
Joe January 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Joe January 28, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Is M Blanchard Timothy Carney http://www.flickr.com/people/mblanchard79/
Ali March 03, 2013 at 02:06 AM
Wow, just saw the show via Netflix and decided to look up whether he was ever found and learned that he was. Don't make the mistake of thinking that group as a religious group. They are not. This is a cult. They use mind control such as emersion, and seclusion from those you love, including family. These people are "programmed". It can take months or years of using similar tactics to "deprogram" them. Like the moonies, hare krishna and many others, this is a scarey group and there have been cases where people are never successfully deprogrammed. Ted Patrick was a well known deprogrammer who helped many families. Fascinating book by him in the 70s I think or early 80s.terrifying but true and real. Remember Jim Jones and the koolaid or Wako Texas??? People die in these cults. The leaders are insane but they prey on lost soles therefore often they go under the radar for years and usually the control increases as the insanity of the leaders increases. DONT DRINK THE KOOLAID!!!!!
Berenice April 02, 2013 at 02:17 AM
He belong to a cult that took all his life, had debts, a job he didnt like it and the pression of his family to leave that life...maybe to much to endure. It is wise sometimes to walk in someone else's shoes for a while and then....judge.
Joe April 02, 2013 at 06:44 AM
I just hope he is finally able to ‘fork’ his girlfriend…
carolyn sullivan April 20, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Has anyone done a DNA test or anything to prove the person actually is the "lost' Timothy Carney? I think that would prove it really is him. I have heard about these types of "missing" persons. Cult, Cult, Cult.
Kingricky April 20, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I hate that to my heart, those fucking church's pry to the davil. I got no words, had been close family member to me, those church's leaders would be under ground
jack May 02, 2013 at 05:38 PM
There sure are a lot of ignorant people on here. They can't talk correctly or even spell correctly. What is pression and pry to the davil? I mean really folks. Go back to school
Billy Mitchell May 02, 2013 at 09:44 PM
This guy Tim, he did not go to the police so he did not cause the enquiry to spend so much money looking for him, this Cult has him and their is nothing anyone can do is their, can't the USA legislate against this, but the problem is the victims walk in on their own free will, I just don't know what you can do
Beth May 03, 2013 at 02:15 PM
There are always 2 sides to every story. And while I believe his "church" is a crock, we will never know the whole story unless he (Tim) tells his side. And he may have been brainwashed! Too many cults out there!
JoAnn May 13, 2013 at 06:32 AM
Obviously there are people posting on here of which English is their second language. Ever heard of ESL? Sounds like you're the ignorant one Jack. They should be praised for trying!
Dana June 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Only just watched his story on "Disappeared". I am so thankful he has been found safe! Salimah, this is a very interesting theory indeed. I really hope Tim is getting the help he needs.
J.R Hartley June 14, 2013 at 02:41 PM
YU Mad-bro August 13, 2013 at 04:34 PM
I left home at 15, and have not spoken to anyone in my family for 25 years. A couple of years ago I seen my picture in the missing database. I get a good laugh at it. I didn't ask anyone to look for me.
John Smith September 18, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Hey YU-Mad-bro.....are you originally from Holtville?
Kathy Lowery October 15, 2013 at 01:27 PM
What an inconsiderate selfish jerk this guy is. And in the name of some whacko church. Sickening. Let him stay gone.
Matthew Warner October 15, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Obviously, this man has emotional/psychological issues that led him to this point. This is why he was (or still may be) affiliated with a "cult like" group. Even under the most extreme circumstances, normal well adjusted people don't just walk away from everything (job, family, possessions). There's usually an underlying pathology that causes them to break from the structures of reality, or makes them susceptual to manipulation from cults. His life may have been unremarkable, but it followed a relatively normal path until he got involved in that group. Then it was all down hill. They didn't let him out of their site because they knew he was an easy mark. I bet "the girlfriend" he met was part of the manipulation process as well. The whole story is just sad. Hopefully, they'll be a family again.
Terri Lease-Weires January 23, 2014 at 03:18 PM
I feel so very sad, not only for the Parents, But for his poor Sister that held that guilt in her for so long. I really hope that all get the help they need.


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