Body of missing N.J. hiker found after weeklong search


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Staten Island Advance

The body of a 41-year-old man who went missing last weekend was discovered Saturday, authorities said, following a week-long search by teams on the ground, in the air, and on boats along the river within the sprawling Ramapo Valley Reservation where he frequently hiked by himself.

Hector Zamorano, of Mahwah, was found about a 40-minute walk deep into the 4,000-acre reservation in Bergen County by another hiker on Saturday morning, according to Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton. His body was not on a trail.

His death remains under investigation, but there were no signs of foul play, Cureton said. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Zamorano was last seen Sunday morning as he set off for the reservation. Police and firefighters had searched all along the Ramapo River since early in the week, but found no trace of the man. Firefighters deployed a rescue boat, while New Jersey State Police flew repeatedly over the area in a helicopter as part of the search efforts.

Mahwah Mayor Jim Wysocki told NJ Advance Media on Thursday that security camera footage showed Zamorano walking toward the reservation. “They believe he went into the reservation. No other cameras picked him up after that,” Wysocki said. “They believe he remained in the park.”

Zamorano’s family had called his disappearance “uncharacteristic,” the mayor said.

Zamorano left his home at 9 a.m. on Sunday, according to police, and was reported missing 12 hours later after he failed to return. His family told officers he had left on foot without his cellphone, but was carrying ID and a credit card.

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