Manhattan Man Found in Swamp After Frantic 4-Day Search

By DNAinfo Staff on June 4, 2010 7:57am  | Updated on June 4, 2010 8:01am

By Olivia Scheck

DNAinfo Reporter Producer

MANHATTAN — A Lower East Side man was found alive Thursday in an upstate swamp four days after his BMW flipped on the Taconic State Parkway.

Thomas Wopat-Moreau, 22, was severely dehydrated when police discovered him lying in the woods near his turned-over BMW, 500 feet from the parkway, the New York Times said.

"He was in pretty tough shape. He was dehydrated; he was unable to move his lower extremities; he was covered in insects," Senior Investigator Gary Mazzacano told the New York Daily News.

Police used the signal from Wopat-Moreau's cell phone to narrow their search before it lost power, but the effort might have failed if not for a state trooper who noticed rubber traces on a highway guardrail near the town of Gallatin, the News said.

Thomas Wopat-Moreau's BMW landed upside-down 500 feet from the Taconic State Parkway.
Thomas Wopat-Moreau's BMW landed upside-down 500 feet from the Taconic State Parkway.
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AP/Lance Wheeler

The 22-year-old, who told his discoverers that he survived on swamp water, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center for evaluation, the paper noted.

Friends and family had been on a frantic search for days since his disappearance, according to the Times.

Wopat-Moreau, an 2009 graduate of The College of William and Mary who was set to begin a job at Barclays financial services on Tuesday, was last seen storming out of a party in East Fishkill, friends at the scene told the News.

He had planned to spend the night at the home where the party was being held, but decided to drive to his mother's house near the Connecticut border after getting into an argument, according to the News.

State Police told the Times that Wopat-Moreau, whose car landed 500 feet from the road, would likely not be charged with a crime.