Police have been searching since July 1 for a woman believed to have been driving a car that was involved in a minor accident on Oak Ridge Road in West Milford, near the Jefferson border. Almost a week later, on July 7, a woman’s body was discovered in an area of heavy brush near the site of the accident.
The woman’s clothing matched that worn by Stephanie Bronaugh, 29, of Lafayette. Positive identification was received from the New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office on July 11.
As reported in The Jefferson Chronicle, police responded on July 1 to the scene of a minor motor vehicle accident. The car was registered to Bronaugh, but she was not there. Investigators did find her cell phone and one of her sneakers in the area.
Despite an extensive search involving K-9 police dogs, state police helicopters, West Milford Search and Rescue, and members of the West Milford Special Operation Unit, Bronaugh was not located for several days.
West Milford police detective Sgt. Joseph Walker stated in a press release that foul play is not suspected, and the manner and cause of death are still pending.