The family of missing Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird fears that his mysterious disappearance may be connected to his job, a source close to his family told NBC News.
Bird, 55, is an energy markets correspondent
for the paper, and has written several stories on the oil-producing nations in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The source also revealed that a credit card belonging to Bird who vanished in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon was used in Mexico on Wednesday night.
Bird, 55, went for a walk outside his Long Hill Township home at 4.30 p.m. that day without his cell phone or the medicine he take twice a day for his liver transplant.
He was wearing a red jacket blue jeans, and glasses when he went missing, and police say he regularly walks the trails in Hick's Tract in Millington.
Searchers fanned out across the woods and wetlands near his home, and combed the rivers in a frantic effort to find him, according to the New York Daily News
"Several good leads have come in that investigators are working on," the Long Hill Township police said Thursday. The FBI has also joined in the search for Bird, a father of two sons.
"The FBI New Jersey office is assisting the Long Hill Township police and the Morris County Prosecutor's office in this investigation," said a spokesman for the FBI in New Jersey.
Worried relatives, who do not believe Bird deliberately vanished, have released a statement:
"As you can imagine this is a difficult time for the Bird family. We cannot address any aspect of police investigation, but urge anyone with information about his whereabouts to come forward to authorities."
Bird's wife, Nancy, told the Journal
her husband desperately needs the medication that he's been taking twice daily ever since his 2004 liver transplant. She also said Bird is an experienced hiker and camper and that he also ran in the 2013 New York Marathon.
"He's a really great dad and a really great husband," said Nancy, adding that her husband went for a stroll to get some fresh air after they had been putting away Christmas decorations.
She called police when he had not returned after two hours, even though it was raining. "I knew this wasn't right. Something was wrong," she said.
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