EASTAMPTON, N.J. (FOX 29) - Authorities say the man whose body was found in Smithville Park in New Jersey has been identified as one of the two men who went missing from a nearby Eastampton group home late last year.
According to the medical examiner, Joseph Brockington, 56, died from hypothermia. The death was ruled an accident and was no foul play involved. His body was discovered on Saturday.
Brockington left the Catholic Charities group home on West Railroad Avenue on Nov. 1, 2018, along with Juan Garcia, 58. The search continues for Garcia. Garcia is 5-foot-10 and weighs 180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black winter hat and black pants.
“We are very sad to report that the body of the person who was found was Mr. Brockington,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said.“We have been working closely with the Eastampton Police Department since their disappearance and had hoped for a better outcome. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Brockington’s family and friends. We have searched extensively for Mr. Garcia, including again over the weekend, and will continue to do so until we locate him. We will continue to hold out hope that he will be found safely.”
On the phone from North Jersey, Brockington’s niece told FOX 29 he lived in the group home for 16 years. She says it was not like him to just walk away.
"We are all very confused. It doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t just leave without permission. He’s been supervised his whole life," she said.
A spokesperson for Catholic Charities in an email wrote, Brockington was free to come and go as he pleased from the group home.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Eastampton Township Police Detective Doug
Townsend at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-261-1717, or the Burlington
County Prosecutor’s Office at email@example.com or 609-265-5035.