It’s a mystery, for sure, why a set of women’s clothing apparently wound up in a wooded section of Fair Lawn – only to be discovered months later near a handyman’s garage.
“If anybody has any information that could help, we ask that they call us,” Fair Lawn Police Sgt. Brian Metzler said Monday afternoon, as social media shares and comments began gaining steam.
Handyman David Carota laid out each item after his wife, young daughter and two other kid found them rolled up near his garage.
He took photos and posted them on Facebook, along with theories on how the set of jeans (size 28), Ralph Lauren polo shirt, flowered bra and blue thong -- some either cut or ripped -- ended up in a wooded area off Route 208.
Thus, a social mystery was born.
“It’s a bit bizarre how they were all clumped up...like actual dirty laundry… and seemingly deliberately stashed in the wooded area [25 feet] behind our garage and where our daughter plays with her friends,” Carota wrote.
“Many others seem to think it's the work of paramedics cutting the clothes off a trauma victim, etc... which makes sense... I see it... but clumped all together, way off the highway... literally... almost in our backyard... makes no sense.”
It could be the result of “something more serious than a random paramedic, or a crash victim disposing of their clothes, 500 feet from the shoulder of a major highway, in a patch of woods,” he said.
Carota said his family and neighbors are “unsettled.”
“We have lived here a long time,” he wrote. “I have seen many accidents on 208 myself... firsthand, right near here.
“This is something very out of the ordinary that seems really questionable,” he said. “God forbid it is as sinister as it appears to be.
“Maybe it's a prank, or high school kids brought it all here from the highway.... but it wasn't the wind, and it wasn't animals,” Carota said. “They were all found clumped up together, in the woods near a small creek, a natural gas pipeline[,] a major highway and our actual, backyard.
“Hopefully there's a reasonable explanation.”
One thing that won’t happen: Contrary to some speculation, authorities aren’t conducting any DNA tests.
Bergen County authorities are also leaving it in the hands of the locals for now. Neither they nor Fair Lawn police can do much just yet.
“We have nothing to associate it with, so there’s nothing to investigate at the moment,” said Metzler, the borough police sergeant. “However, if we receive any information that ties directly to this, we’ll certainly pursue it."
Without a tip, he said, police can't submit the bundle to the New Jersey State Police Laboratory for testing.
“For now, we’re holding onto it,” he said.
The sergeant asked that anyone with information that could help authorities identify where the clothes came from call the Fair Lawn PD: (201) 796-1400 .
He also urged that anyone who sees or hears anything unusual at any time to immediately contact police before turning to social media.
The more information that's shared socially before an investigation begins, the better chance criminals have at covering their tracks, he said.
- ALL PHOTOS: David Carota
ALSO SEE: A group of Fair Lawn police officers who responded to an overdose call found a 23-year-old borough woman overdosing on the toilet -- a needle stuck in the back of her hand -- and a problematic companion in the apartment, authorities said.
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