Disappearance of St. John Man Baffles Rescue Officers

The VIPD released this photo of Mark Moroney.
The VIPD released this photo of Mark Moroney.

First responders on St. John are baffled by the unexplained disappearance of a St. John man who went missing Sunday evening.

“I’ve been doing this for 50 years, and I’ve never seen a case like this,” said Bob Malacarne, training officer for St. John Rescue. “It’s absolutely like he disappeared.”

Malacarne said Mark Moroney, a white man in his early 70’s, left the home where he was staying on Rainbow Road in Chocolate Hole during the power outage. He told his wife Susan he would look for a flashlight in his car. He never came back.

Police officers, fire fighters, National Park rangers, St. John Rescue personnel, and volunteers have been combing the southside of St. John since Monday but have not found a trace.

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“The police brought in a dog, but that was not effective,” said Malacarne. “Steve Simonson sent up a drone, but he didn’t find anything. We’ve covered every road and trail. We’ve looked in every building in the Pond Bay Club. We’ve looked in Dumpsters. His son Robin has walked every trail. St. John Rescue took our boat along the south shore. We’re totally stymied. I don’t know how we could have missed him.”

Malacarne said he had seen Moroney only a couple of hours before his disappearance Sunday evening.

Moroney had driven to services at the Catholic Church and appeared to be fine.

“His mind is sound,” said Malacarne.

Residents said Moroney is known to be a great walker, so he could have covered some distance if he wanted to, but Malacarne said it was unlikely he went walking off a main road at night. Moroney was dressed in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt when he vanished.

“We’re now thinking it was possible he was struck by a car,” Malacarne said. He advised residents to notify the police if they notice any vehicles with recent front-end damage.

Police asked anyone with information to call the VIPD at 340-693-8880 or St. John Rescue at 340-626-5118. A reward has been posted.

Shared content for Virgin Islands Source and St. John Tradewinds. 

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