Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III has announced that the body of Hopewell Township resident Christopher Franz was recovered from the Delaware Raritan Canal yesterday. Franz was reported missing in early January of this year.
Police and emergency workers were dispatched to the Delaware Raritan Canal near Bull’s Island just before 3 pm. yesterday for a reported body in the water along the shoreline. The discovery was made by a family kayaking in a remote area of the Delaware Raritan Canal State Park.
“Detectives found a New Jersey Driver’s License on the body, which matched a missing person report from Hopewell Township,” Kearns said.
A preliminary investigation indicates that Franz, 49, may have jumped off the pedestrian bridge at Bulls Island, taking his own life. There did not appear to be any signs of foul play.
An autopsy was conducted today with a determination of cause and manner of death pending, along with toxicology reports.
“Our condolences go out to Mr. Franz’s family.” Kearns said.
The New Jersey State Police Kingwood Barracks, the Delaware Township Police, the New Jersey State Park Police, the Stockon Fire Department, and paramedics from Hunterdon Medical Center responded at the scene. Additional units from the NJSP Marine Services Bureau, the Hopewell Township Police, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Hunterdon County Medical Examiner’s Office took part in the investigation.
Anyone with information about the incident can submit anonymous tips by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-321-0010 or by going to www.crimestoppershunterdon.com, or text messaging “HCTIPS” plus your tip message to 274637 (CRIMES). Tipsters can also download the free mobile app “Tipsubmit” and select Hunterdon County to submit anonymous tips via text messaging. All tips are anonymous and kept confidential.