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New Jersey couple disappear after driving into Pine Barrens

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A New Jersey couple mysteriously vanished after venturing into the Pine Barrens.

Gary Parker, 67, and his wife Lorraine, 60, of Warren Grove, N.J., drove into the protected wilderness reserve that covers more than a million acres — but didn’t return, according to reports.

Their ATV was later found by their wooded home with a shotgun still strapped to it.

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The couple’s chilling disappearance has prompted large-scale searches and desperate pleas from family.

The Parkers were last seen Nov. 17, but a neighbor told cops she spoke with Lorraine sometime last weekend, according to the Asbury Park Press.

An official search began Tuesday. Their daughter, Lindsay Parker, posted that her parents were missing at 12:41 a.m. that morning. She wrote on Facebook later that day that her parents’ ATV was found near their home.

“My parents quad has been found along with my father’s shotgun which was strapped to it. Still no sign of either of my parents,” she wrote. “Their quad was found stuck in a field not far from their home that my dad has used for years to bait deer. Trail cam footage has nothing after footage captured last week.”

Police haven’t said when the couple went missing, according to Patch.com. Capt. James Vaughn, of the Stafford police, said he didn’t believe the couple went hunting, noting that in the rural community “many people […] have shotguns readily available,” according to the Sandpaper.

Vaughn also said that even if the couple was out in the elements for a few nights, he was “hopeful” they could survive because, “[T]hey are both avid outdoors people,” he told the outlet.

When the two-day manhunt — which included more than 100 searchers, police dogs, ATVs, drones, and air support — failed to find the couple, Stafford police on Wednesday turned the search over to its detectives and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Warren Grove is a small, unincorporated community located within the Pine Barrens, 37 miles north of Atlantic City.

The mystique of the Pine Barrens was showcased during a gripping May 2001 third -season episode of “The Sopranos” where Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) and Paulie “Walnuts” Gaultieri (Tony Sirico) take a thug out to the dense woodlands in the dead of winter to whack him, only to lose him along with their composure.

Los Angeles prosecutors in 2020 alleged that real-estate heir Robert Durst buried his wife, Kathie, who disappeared in 1982, there.

“For any of you who’ve ever watched ‘The Sopranos,’ the Pine Barrens were famous . . . the soil at the Pine Barrens is sand,” Deputy District Attorney John Lewin said then. “It doesn’t freeze, so if you kill somebody in the middle of winter, you need to have sand you can dig into. This is a notorious Mafia burial ground.”

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