Body found in Passaic River possibly missing Paterson man, police say

·1 min read

Investigators have tentatively identified a body found in the Passaic River as Thadius Wilder, 35, ofPaterson, who was allegedly fleeing officers when he was last seen on Saturday, police said Thursday.

Officers were attempting to apprehend Wilder at the Speer Village housing complex on Saturday for an open warrant when he fled on foot, eventually running onto Route 21, said Deputy Chief Jonathan Schaer of the Passaic Police Department.

Authorities searched the immediate area until calling off the pursuit due to high traffic volume, Schaer stated. A day later, Wilder's family reported him missing to authorities.

The highway runs along the river for nearly 15 miles from Newark to Paterson.

Passaic Police vehicle
Passaic Police vehicle

The body, believed to be Wilder's, pending an autopsy by the Regional Medical Examiner, was discovered Monday by kayakers, according to police.

“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Wilder," Passaic Mayor Hector Lora stated, and called his apparent death "a terrible tragedy."

A possible relative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Wilder's death is being investigated by the state Attorney General's Office, the Passaic County Prosecutor’sOffice, and the city's Internal Affairs Division.

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Nicholas Katzban is a breaking news reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Email: katzban@northjersey.com 

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This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Body found in Passaic River thought to be Paterson NJ man