Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Chief Martin McParland of the Rockaway Township Police Department jointly announce an update of the investigation into the death of the canoeist found in White Meadow Lake, Rockaway Township.

The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, has determined the Cause of Death to be a drowning and Manner of Death as an Accident.

As previously reported, the search began on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at approximately 3:00 am, when members of the Rockaway Township Police Department were dispatched to White Meadow Lake regarding a capsized canoe, which contained two (2) Rockaway Township residents, ages 26 and 27.

Officer Jason Tozzi from the Rockaway Township Police Department was the first responder to the scene. He used an available canoe and was able to reach the only visible distressed male (age 26) in the lake, ultimately saving his life.

The rescued male (age 26) was transported to St. Clare’s Denville Campus Hospital where he was later released.

A recovery operation at the lake for the second adult male (age 27) started on Sunday, November 22, 2015. The search utilized sonar equipment monitored by the New Jersey State Police.

On November 24, 2015, the third day of searching ended at approximately 9:30 a.m. when the deceased body of the second male (age 27) was located in the lake.  Dr. Ronald V. Suarez, MD of the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, pronounced the deceased male (age 27) at the scene.

At the request of the family, the identity of the male (age 27) found in the lake will not be released.

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank all the assisting agencies which include the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the Rockaway Township Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Morris County Sherriff’s Office, Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, Boonton Fire Department, Rockaway Township Fire Department, Jefferson Township Fire Department, St. Clare’s EMS, Morris County OEM, and divers from multiple agencies.

Any inquiries can be directed to Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Deputy Chief of Investigations Denise H. Arseneault at 973-285-6262 or [email protected].