‘We fear the worst,’ family says week after Linden educator vanishes
Teachers and students from the Soehl Middle School in Linden will gather after school on Friday to bring attention to a missing colleague and educator.
Brian Gooney, 55, a school paraprofessional who lives in Rahway, remains missing after a week. He was last seen about 9 p.m. on March 9 leaving his residence on Main Street.
His car is still parked in the underground parking lot of the apartment building he recently moved into after his parents died in 2017.
"It's just frustrating. There's just nothing. It's like he walked out of his apartment and was beamed up," his sister Bernadette Gooney told New Jersey 101.5 on Friday.
"Brian is an absolute wonderful brother. If you need anything you call him and he'll be right there for you. He is the same with being an uncle. He absolutely adores his nieces and nephew. His nephew's birthday was on March 4. He reached out to wish him a happy birthday," Gooney said.
He was enjoying the fact that he didn't have to shovel and clean off his car after the recent snowstorms. He liked to take walks.
"I hate to say it but we fear the worst. We definitely think foul play got involved somehow but we just don't know. Every day, 6 million things go through your head what could be wrong," she said. "It's certainly not him that he would have disappeared."
Brian is 6 feet tall, 180-200 pounds with short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a dark long-sleeve shirt and dark pants.
The "Bring Brian Home" gathering takes place at Tiger Stadium at Cooper Field at Linden High School at 3 p.m. to bring awareness to his disappearance.
"The district is devastated by Brian’s disappearance. We just want to do everything we can to help get him home safe," Linden school district spokesman Gary Miller said.
"He loved teaching school. It was one of his absolute passions. He talked about the kids all the time," his sister said, adding that he liked to dress up in costumes for the students.
Linden Mayor Derek Armsted offered "words of comfort" to the Gooney family and Brian's friends.
"As a Linden family, let us pray together for the safe return of Brian Gooney," Armsted said.
Rahway police asked anyone with information about Brian Gooney is asked to contact them at 732/827-2200.