Lost hiker located in Hartshorne Woods


MIDDLETOWN – A team of first responders successfully located a hiker who was lost in the woods.

Around 7:47 p.m. on Oct. 9, officers from the Middletown Township Police Department and Park Rangers from the Monmouth County Park System responded to a report of a lost hiker, according to a statement prepared by Det. Lt. Paul Bailey of Middletown Township Police.

Richard Donato, 38, of Middletown, had called park rangers and reported that he was lost in the woods and in need of assistance.

At approximately 11:26 p.m., he was located on the Grand Tour trail of Hartshorne Woods by Park Ranger Rick Royle.

Leonardo First Aid checked on Donato, who did not seek further medical treatment, according to Bailey.

Responding to the call were Monmouth County Park Rangers Rick Royle, Allison Petruzzo and Ryan Rochelle. Sgt. Charles Higgins, Ptl. Chris Menendez, Ptl. Nick Haines, Class II Special Officer Daniel Flannigan, K9 officers Ptl. Brian McGrogan and his K9 Jax, and Ptl. Steve Greenwood and his K9 Koda of the Middletown police responded to the park as well.

Also aiding in the search were the New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, Leonardo First Aid Squad and several fire companies from the Middletown Township Fire Department, including Navesink Hook and Ladder, Brevent, Community and Port Monmouth, as well as the fire chiefs and the Field Communications Unit.