Missing Rutgers professor found, saved by South Brunswick police

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Toni Yates has the story from South Brunswick. (WABC)

A mystery surrounding a missing Rutgers professor has been solved, and three South Brunswick police officers are being hailed as heroes for saving him.

The 68-year old professor had been missing for several days before police found him in his home, where he had been on the floor for several days.

Last Thursday, Sergeant Ron Seaman and officers Salvatore Fama and Brady Schelcusky responded to the Kingsland Circle home after family members reported they had not heard from their 68-year-old uncle since Sunday.

The relative said the uncle was a university professor and had a medical condition.

The officers found the home locked and observed a pair of glasses on the floor in the home. After investigating further, they found that the uncle's cell phone had not been used since Monday and had last been used at the home.

The officers forced entry into the home and discovered the uncle on the bedroom floor semi-conscious.

He was taken to an area hospital for treatment. Relatives later called to say that the uncle had suffered a stroke and was on the floor for three or four days.

"There was no footprints in the snow and it had snowed Sunday, nothing had been cleaned. They said he always wears his glasses, they were on the kitchen floor..we pinged his cellphone and could tell it had not moved since Sunday night, that it was in this location," said Sgt. Seaman. They rammed his door and found him.

Medical personnel told relatives that the uncle's condition was life threatening if he had not been found. "Very disoriented, could not get any words out,,,you could tell he was laying there for several days," said Officer Fama.

South Brunswick are also credited with saving the lives of two other residents in the past week.

On Tuesday, officers Ryan Bartunek and Tara Jairdullo responded to a call on Spring Court after a cleaning woman was concerned that the homeowner was not answering the door to let her in. The officers noticed newspapers on the front lawn from several days before.

When officers looked through the window, they saw 75-year-old man laying face down in the hallway. They forced entry into the home, and the man was transported to the hospital.

In both cases the men were found because someone decided not to assume the best-case scenario.

"Both cases, these individuals lived alone..relatives called. And that's what we're encouraging you to do. If you don't get an answer after a little bit of time, don't hesitate to call your local police department. These cases could have been life threatening if the officers had not made entry," said Lt. Jim Ryan.

Wednesday morning, officers Bobby Ayala, Tim Hoover and Don Whicker responded to a Deerberry Lane residence for a 21-year-old man who had overdosed on heroin. Officers found the man was not breathing but had a pulse, and they administered two doses of Narcan.

The victim began to breathe on his own and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. This is the second time officers had used Narcan to revive the same victim.

Chief Raymond Hayducka credited all the officers for their quick actions in averting tragedies.

"In each of these cases officers exemplified the best of our department in taking actions and getting people the needed medical attention," he said. "If you have a concern about the welfare of a friend or relative do not hesitate to give us a call to ask for assistance. All three of these incidents were life threatening had the officers not intervened."

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