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Emotional Roller Coaster (18 November 2006 - 5:04 a.m.)

This article is from a newspaper that is local to the area where Mark lived. I replaced last names with first names to keep things simple. By the way, I was misquoted – quite a bit, actually. The reporter took fragments of statements I made, and strung them together into sentences that were not of my creation.

I really don’t care – I have much more important things on my mind right now, but it’s kind of interesting for me to see firsthand how a person’s comments can be rearranged in print into something they didn’t exactly say. I spoke to Tamica last night, and, apparently, she was misquoted even more than I was. Anyway, none of that really matters. Here’s the article:

Body of missing duck hunter found

A man missing since he went duck hunting on the Hudson River nearly a month ago has been found dead, police said on Thursday.

The body of Mark P, 39, was found in the water about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday by an […] County Sheriff's Office patrol boat, according to Sgt. T M.

Mark went duck hunting alone on Oct. 20 on the river near […] and did not return home. He was reported missing the next day, and police almost immediately found Mark's boat, empty, and some of his personal belongings.
Police did not provide a cause of death for Mark. An autopsy was scheduled for this morning.

Deputies from the sheriff's Marine Detail were out on the river every day since Oct. 21 looking for Mark. It took close to a month to find the body, police said, because it apparently surfaced only recently after being under water.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster," Mark’s sister, Stephanie B of [...], said on Thursday. "It's terrible how the reality of our grief sets in now that he's been found. We're all relieved he's out of the water. It was torture, not knowing, but our grief now is inconsolable. It's staggering. We really weren't prepared for the finality, and now the bereavement truly begins."

Mark's fiancée, Tamica H, said she and Mark had been together for nine years and that he was the only father her daughter Faelin, 11, ever knew.

"It wasn't like Faelin was a stepdaughter," Tamica said. "She called him Daddy."

Mark and Tamica became engaged at Christmastime in 2004, she said.

"I'm relieved to have some closure," Tamica said after learning Mark’s body had been found. "We were very blessed to have him in our lives for so long. It's very rough dealing with it now."

Mark was supposed to pick up Faelin the evening of Oct. 20 and take her out to dinner, but he never showed up, Tamica said. He also failed to meet a group of friends who were to go hunting the next morning.

"That's when we really began to think something was seriously wrong," Tamica said. "It was not like him, just not to show up like that."

Mark was a carpenter and worked for many years for […], Stephanie said.

"People - his employer, the customers - all depended on him," she said. "He was so meticulous, so reliable."

Stephanie said her brother came from a large and close-knit family.

"He was such a great guy," she said. "Everybody had wonderful things to say about him."

Mark and his identical twin, Michael, were the youngest of six siblings. The others are Stephanie B, Michele C, Patricia P, and Frank P Jr. Mark's parents, Ann and Frank, live in […]

Stephanie said Mark liked to hunt alone.

"He loved the solitude, the peace and quiet," she said.

Tamica echoed that thought and said Mark "loved to be outdoors, loved the scenery, to breathe the air."
"He hunted every chance he got," she said. "And when it wasn't hunting season, he played golf. We went to California a while ago, and he was so happy he got to play golf on a PGA course. He thought it was great to play the same course Tiger Woods played."

Tamica said Mark had recently reconnected with his biological daughter, Meaghan, who lives in […] with her daughter.

"He was one good-looking grandfather," Tamica said. "Things had started to fall into place. It's very sad for the family left behind who won't get to experience what an amazing person he was - generous, outgoing."

Tamica expressed thanks to all the people who searched for Mark after he disappeared. "We so much appreciate the efforts of all the officers, all the ways they tried to help us," she said. "We really must thank them all."

The […] County Sheriff's Office was aided in the search by the Coast Guard; the […] County Sheriff's Office dive and navigation units; the state police aviation, dive and navigation units; state forest rangers; the state Department of Environmental Preservation's aviation unit; and several […] County fire departments.

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