04 January 2010

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Forty years ago this week, the snow covered fields of the eastern borders of Hillsborough must have looked like something out of a Hollywood epic - albeit a tragic one.

Under bright blue January skies, 1000 policemen, state troopers, members of the New Jersey National Guard, and assorted volunteers marched across the frozen floodplain of the Millstone River, in an exhaustive search for a 2 1/2-year-old boy who went missing from his family's home around noon the day before.

State Police employed two helicopters, flying low over the fields and woodlands in the vicinity of the partially frozen river, where two police divers and a volunteer probed the shallow depths.

Sub-freezing temperatures didn't slow down the volunteers, high school boys and moms among them.

By the end of the day, despite the best efforts of all involved, no sign of the missing child had been found, and Police Chief Donald Dowches was not discounting foul play, declaring, "The river of course is our major concern, but we are not ruling out any other possibilities".

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