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Kearny Police searching for missing man last seen near Passaic River

Media Release

For Immediate Release, May 25, 2022

Released by: Captain Timothy Wagner, Email

Investigating Detective: Detective David Bush, (201) 998-1313 ext. 2841, Email

On the afternoon of May 23, 2022, a 24-year-old Belleville woman appeared at Kearny Police headquarters to report her husband missing. The missing man is identified as Hector L. Nieves, 33, of Belleville (photo attached). Nieves is described as a Hispanic male of medium complexion, 6’0” tall, and approximately 150 pounds. He reportedly has a chest tattoo that reads “show no love,” an upper back tattoo that reads “feel no pain,” and star tattoos on each shoulder. Nieves was last reported as wearing a dark-colored long-sleeve Carhartt brand shirt with white letters on the sleeve, dark work pants, black "Jordan" brand sneakers, a Carhartt brand baseball hat with yellow lettering, and a black mask over his face.

Investigation revealed that on May 23 between 1 and 1:30 a.m., the wife dropped off Nieves by car at 175 Passaic Ave. Kearny (L.A. Fitness parking lot) and then waited a short distance away. Nieves subsequently became the suspect in a truck burglary at that time and location and was allegedly chased off by the truck’s owner. Nieves reportedly telephoned his wife while running from the scene and made statements indicating that he was planning to swim across the Passaic River and that she should pick him up near the Comfort Suites in Newark.

Detectives began an immediate investigation and corroborated independent information showing plausibility that Nieves may have entered the Passaic River. Nieves’s last confirmed location was at the bank of the Passaic River between 175 Passaic Ave. and the NX Bridge (commonly referred to as the “Annie Bridge”).

Police and Kearny firefighters searched the river by boat and by riverbank on May 23 and 24 but did not locate Nieves. The investigation and search remain ongoing bolstered by resources coordinated by the Office of Emergency Management.

Persons with information about the incident are asked to contact Detective David Bush at (201) 998-1313 ext. 2841 or by email at

All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).

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