Press Release


For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2024

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the identification of human remains discovered in Overpeck Creek in Ridgefield Park, NJ.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit in coordination with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department, Ridgefield Park Police Department, Maywood Police Department, and with assistance from the Bergen County Office of Emergency Management, Bergen County Regional Dive Team, and the New Jersey State Police began an investigation into artifacts recovered from Overpeck Creek in Ridgefield Park, NJ earlier this month. Indicators of submerged artifacts were originally detected by a private, non-profit dive company, which notified law enforcement of its discovery. In a joint operation that was undertaken on Friday, May 3, 2024, county divers successfully confirmed the presence of submerged artifacts, which appeared to be approximately 40 years old. An initial recovery was completed at that time, and the presence of human remains was confirmed; however, extensive forensic testing was required to establish identity.

On Monday, May 20, 2024, forensic testing confirmed that the recovered remains were of Charles Murphy, a 26-year-old Maywood resident, who went missing during the early morning hours of April 28, 1982. The specific circumstances surrounding his disappearance remain under investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Sheriff’s Department, and the Ridgefield Park Police Department.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office is withholding additional details while detectives and investigators in this joint investigation review the results of the dive and the forensic examination. Prosecutor Musella would like to thank all entities involved, both public and private, for their ongoing cooperation in this matter.