linden school district

Mysterious Disappearance of Beloved NJ Paraprofessional Baffles Colleagues, Family

Colleagues and relatives of Brian Gooney will host an event Friday at 3 p.m. to raise awareness of his baffling disappearance

What to Know

  • The disappearance of 55-year-old school paraprofessional a week and a half ago remains a mystery, prompting his family to ask the public for help in finding him.
  • Brian Gooney is a paraprofessional Soehl Middle School in Linden, but 11 days ago he stopped coming to work. He was last seen leaving his apartment building in nearby Rahway March 9.
  • He hasn't been seen or heard from since then.

The disappearance of 55-year-old school paraprofessional a week and a half ago remains a mystery, prompting his family to ask the public for help in finding him.

Brian Gooney is a paraprofessional Soehl Middle School in Linden, but 11 days ago he stopped coming to work. He was last seen leaving his apartment building in nearby Rahway March 9.

"Brian, we're looking for you," his sister Bernadette Gooney says through tears. "Please. We love you and we're just searching, we don't know what else to do. If you can hear me, please get in touch with one of us."

Flyers have been widely distributed throughout the county in hopes of finding the whereabouts of Brian who recently moved into a new apartment building in Rahway.

His family describes Brian as quiet, but smart.

"The children loved him. The staff can't say enough nice things about him," his sister-in-law Karen Gooney said. "He's just an all-around good guy."

Gooney told News 4 New York she has no idea what could have happened to him.

School officials in Linden are just as mystified.

"We are devastated," Linden Schools Superintendent Marnie Hazelton said. "The Linden Schools community is devastated at this unexplained disappearance."

One theory explored is that he walked out of his apartment building, which is near a river, and went into the water. But, there has been no trace of him there -- or any where.

The school district plans to hold an information session at Tiger Stadium Friday at 3 p.m. to continue getting the message out in the hopes of finding out what happened to Brian Gooney.

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