Officials Identify Remains of Haverhill Man Missing Since Last July; Found in Saugus Sunday

John F. Lawler. (Photograph courtesy of National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.)

The skeletal remains of a 53-year-old Haverhill man, last seen last July, were discovered Sunday morning in Saugus woods.

Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker’s office said Tuesday the remains were positively identified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as those of John F. Lawler of Haverhill. Tucker and Saugus Police Chief Michael Ricciardelli said a person walking a dog discovered the remains in the woods off David Drive, Saugus, and notified police shortly after 10 a.m.

Lawler was reported missing last July 14. According to the National Institute of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, Lawler was “last seen walking toward Route 1 carrying his fishing pole.”

Tucker’s office said an investigation remains open pending a final determination by the medical examiner of the cause of death, adding, “While this remains an active and ongoing investigation by Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office and Saugus police, there is no known risk to the public.”

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