Son Of Missing Haverhill Man Whose Remains Were Found In Saugus Asks For Help

A community is coming together to help pay for the funeral costs of a beloved Eastern Massachusetts father whose skeletal remains were found in a wooded area months after he went missing.

John Lawler

John Lawler

Photo Credit: Facebook/John Lawler

The remains of 53-year-old Essex County resident John Lawler of Haverhill were found on Sunday, Feb. 18 in a wooded area near David Drive in Saugus, according to the Essex County District Attorney. 

Lawler had gone missing in July 2023 after leaving the Salvation Army rehab center on Broadway in Saugus to go buy fishing supplies, reports said. 

In the days since the discovery, Lawler's son, Joshua Deveau, has started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help collect funds for his funeral. 

On the fundraiser page, Deveau said he had been hoping that his father would be found and a funeral would not be necessary. 

"I wasn’t ready for this and half of me was hoping he just took off and that he needed a break from the world but that’s not the case," Deveau wrote, continuing, "But I just got home from the funeral home and I don’t know how I’m gonna pay for this financially." 

Deveau also said he spent much time looking for his father in the area where his body was found but had not been able to find him,

"To be honest, I know my father, and he wouldn’t want me to find him that way, so he didn’t let me find him. At least that’s the way I’m looking at it," Deveau wrote. 

As of Wednesday, Feb. 21, just over $5,000 had been collected by the fundraiser out of a $10,000 goal. 

Those looking to donate to the GoFundMe page can do so by clicking here. 

Authorities have not yet revealed when Lawler died or his cause of death. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is still investigating the case.

This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates. 

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