Missing Person Search Ends with Discovery Of Body in Stony Brook

January 24, 1995 (~estimated)

Missing Person Search Ends with Discovery Of Body in Stony Brook

Princeton Township’s second missing persons search in two days ended unhappily on Saturday morning, when volunteers discovered the body of a Princeton Township man who had drowned in Story Brook.

E. William Dey, 67, of Brearley Road in Russel Estates near Edgerstoune Road, was the victim of suicide by drowning, said Assistant Prosecutor Lewis Korn-gut on Tuesday, reporting the findings of the Mercer County Medical Examiner.

The search for Mr. Dey began at 1:14 p.m. on Friday afternoon, when his wife, Roswitha Dey, reported him missing. She told police that she had last seen her husband at 10 a.m. in Lawrenceville, where they had met for breakfast. She had expected him home at 1 p.m. and was concerned because he had been suffering from depression.

Area police departments were instructed to be on the lookout for Mr. Dey’s blue 1989 Mercedes.

The Township Police were called at 4:20 p.m. by a woman who reported that while walking on the footpath between Rosedale and Edgerstoune roads, she had come across Mr. Dey’s car with the door open and the engine running. The car was parked approximately 100 feet from Stony Brook.


Mr. Korngut confirmed on Tuesday that “a hose or pipe” was found near the exhaust pipe of the car. He did not know if exhaust fumes had been directed into the automobile.

When the car was discovered, the Township police began to mount their second full-scale search in the pace of two days. Many of the same people who had been involved in the successful search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient on Thursday evening were called on again.

Search teams with specially trained dogs came from the South Brunswick Police Department, the Palisades Search and Rescue Dog Association, and West Jersey Search and Rescue.

In addition to eight Township police officers, numerous volunteers also arrived from the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department, the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, the Princeton First Aid Ladies’ Auxiliary, the Hopewell Borough Fire Company, and the Kingston Princeton Junction, and Lawrence Township fire departments.

The search was conducted from a command post at Johnson Park School, and nearly 100 volunteers were split into groups to comb the area near Stony Brook, Edgerstoune Road, Winant Road, Hun Road, and Brearley Road.

The teams searched for Mr. Dey without success from 6 p.m. until midnight, and agreed to resume searching at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, approximately 40 searchers, including three search dog teams from West Jersey Search and Rescue, were dispatched from a staging area at Princeton Battlefield Park. The search was concentrated along Stony Brook.

At 11:12 a.m., Mr. Dey’s body was discovered in the brook between Route 206 and Mercer Road. The successful search team was made up of volunteer firemen from Princeton, members of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Debbie Schatt of West Jersey Search and Rescue, and her search dog, Judah.


with his family in 1983 from Rumson.

After working for many years in New York City as in advertising executive, he began his own business, Toms River Car Wash, which he expanded into four sites.

The body was then removed from Stony Broth and transported to the County Medical Examiner’s facility.

Although Mr. Dey’s death was caused by drowning, a representative of the Medical Examiner’s office said Tuesday that toxicology tests would be conducted to check the level of carbon monoxide in his blood.

Moved Here In 1983

Born in South Orange, Mr. Dey was 67 years when he died. He moved to Princeton…

A graduate of Milgrim High School and Dartmouth College, Mr. Dey was an accomplished athlete. He played football, basketball, and tennis in college, but although he was drafted by the Baltimore Colts and the Bos-ton Red Sox, he opted not to turn professional.

Mr. Dey is survived by his wife, Roswitha Berger Dey; his mother, Eleanor Dey of Hightstown; five children, Carroll Dey of Washington D.C., Kimberly Dey of Atlan-tic Highlands, William P. Dey of Locust, Merrall Dey-Freund of Long Branch, and Hendrik W. Dey of Prince-ton; two sisters, Barbara Pope of Columbia, S.C., and Judith Dey of Springfield; a brother, Charles F. Dey of Lyme Conn.; and two step-sons, Emlyn C. Jeffrey, of San Antonio, Texas, and Christopher E. Jeffrey, of Burlington, Vt.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury, the Rev. Dr. W. Alfred Tisdale officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Prince-ton First Aid and Rescue Squad, 237 N. Harrison Street, Princeton 08540.

—Rob Garver

Leave a Reply