August 8, 2020

When Teens Find A Missing Man’s Car In The Woods, They Do Everything They Can To Track Him Down

All different types of unlikely circumstances can change everything in your life. Being at the right place at the right time or finding something seemingly mundane may drag you into a much more intense adventure. This story reinforces the belief that even if humans are capable of great evil, we are capable of also doing much greater good. It takes us to a small town in Pennsylvania, where two teenage boys were riding through the woods on their ATVs one day. Little did they know they would soon come across something stuck in a log that would immediately change their lives.

ATV Enthusiasts

When you come across something mysterious, it may well be something worthy, like money. Still other times, the find is worthless and makes no difference in your life whatsoever. And sometimes the mystery that is uncovered can mean the difference between life and death.

The story begins with two Pennsylvania teens, 15-year-old Alec Yanisko and 18-year-old Joe Delvecchio. As they often do, they were riding around together on their ATVs in the woods when they stumbled across something unexpected…

Cruising Through The Woods

The woods are located close to their homes and are popular with other ATV riders. In addition, the woods have a number of trails that are also popular with hikers and lovers of the great outdoors, so it wasn’t particularly secluded.

Riding in the evening before the sun went down, the two didn’t expect to come across anything unusual. That being said, they soon stumbled across something completely out of place, something that would end up alerting them to a mortal situation.

Something Odd Along The Way

They were going down one of the trails they frequented often when they spotted something on the side of the trail. Luckily, Alex and Joe are observant fellows, so when there was a car off the trail, they knew immediately that something was amiss.

From then on, they began approaching the vehicle with caution. Though cars are allowed to drive down these paths, where the car was located was about a quarter of a mile away from the closest road.

Investigating The Vehicle

As Joe and Alec came close to the vehicle, they noticed something: the car appeared to be stuck in place. They came even closer, paying attention to just how stuck in place the car seemed to be.

It was getting dark, but curiosity got the better of the two and they went even closer. Was there someone stuck inside? The two had no idea how long it had been since the car was stuck or who it belonged to.

Abandoned Acura

The closer they got, the more it was apparent that something was wrong. It was getting darker, and they saw the vehicle had been trapped by a log, which was why it appeared stuck in place. What was more worrying, however, was how the car’s windows were shattered.

They were all alone, with no sign of anyone else around. The car was an Acura, which brought them to wonder what could have happened to cause someone to abandon a luxury vehicle in such a state?

A Clue!

Alex and Joe began searching around the vehicle to find some clues as to the owner’s identity or what happened, exactly. They looked in the trunk, in the glove compartment, and under the seats for anything that could answer their questions. They also checked outside for tracks that could help them gain more insight into what happened.

Finally, they found a Sam’s Club Advantage Card with a name. The two were certain that this would lead them to some answers about why the car was abandoned.

Missing Judge Edwin Kosik

The name on the card said Edwin Kosik, so Joe and Alec did what all the great investigators do and Googled him first. A quick search on the web yielded some interesting information on Kosik, who turned out to be a 92-year-old judge that had been reported missing two days earlier. The boys felt their hearts drop to their stomachs.

Quickly, the two teens jumped back onboard their ATVs and drove home, unsure of what finding the car spelled for the elderly missing gentleman. 

The Police Alerted

When the boys got home, they knew they had to let their parents know. Once they heard what was going on, their parents were quick on their feet and immediately thought of calling the police, who were alerted to the discovery for the first time and drove to meet the boys.

First off, the police asked Alec and Joe to take them to the forest where they had discovered the abandoned car. Alec and Joe complied, but the elderly gentleman left no more signs as to his whereabouts.

The Search Party

Later, Alec told reporters that he “didn’t think they’d find him alive.” The boys led the authorities to the scene where the car had been abandoned. Shortly afterward, they launched a massive search and rescue party, which even included search dogs.

Although admittedly scared, the two boys were amazed at the impressive effort to find the elderly man, Edwin Kosik, and that all of this great hullabaloo was because of what they came across while riding ATVs through the woods!

A Community Concerned

When Judge Kosik was first reported missing, the other locals immediately responded. The highway was covered with billboards notifying drivers that Edwin Kosik had gone missing, along with a hotline to contact the authorities with information. “I’m very upset because he’s a great man and we don’t want anything happening to him,” said Georgia Fisch, a resident of Madison Township.

She said she had known the judge for a long time and had searched for him by alone up back roads, yet all of this proved to be in vain.

Clues Continue To Come In

The billboards and the general media coverage brought the judge’s disappearance to a wider audience. Thanks to these efforts, the authorities began learning more information about Edwin Kosik. Police received a tip from one person who claimed he saw Kosik driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

As Kosik served as a federal judge for over three decades and the possibility of foul play was seriously suspected, the FBI got involved in the investigation. Kosik’s disappearance brought several law agencies together to find him.

Legal Community In Shambles

Law marshalls soon discovered a surveillance video that showed Judge Kosik trying to enter a ShopRite store that was closed. Meanwhile, the legal community was shattered by his disappearance. Defense and civil attorney Chris Powell said he had known Kosik for a long time.

“We want to know what happened to him,” he said. “And everyone has their own opinions, as lawyers, among themselves. I was just over in court this morning and it’s on everybody’s mind.”

Possibility Of Foul Play

Authorities were able to determine that Kosik went missing at 1:30 a.m. through the video footage, but this didn’t rule out the possibility of foul play. Authorities still had no idea what really happened to Kosik. A police helicopter scanned the area around his home but to no avail.

Investigators also continued with efforts to find out any more information from the local populace, suspecting that someone must have heard or seen something. It was then that everyone discovered a new piece of information…

Suffering From Memory Problems

As the media began reporting on the disappearance, Judge Kosik’s son stepped forward and gave some important background information about his father. It turns out that his father suffered from memory loss. This could be a much more fitting explanation as to why Kosik had suddenly gone missing, instead of foul play.

Kosik could well have gone outside and forgotten where he was and what he was doing. The authorities redoubled their efforts with the hope of finally catching a break in the case.

Success Thanks To Search Dog

Although the police had made use of their helicopter and other technological gadgets to help them locate the judge, his fate was discovered due to a search and rescue dog that caught Kosik’s scent from where the car was abandoned. The dog followed Kosik’s trail until the 92-year-old was located.

In the end, Edwin Kosik was found about a football field away from where Joe and Alec found his Acura. But was Judge Edwin Kosik alive or dead?

Out For Two Days

Luckily, Kosik was alive, but he had been outside and exposed to the elements for several days. Authorities were quick to note that Kosik was responsive, answering and talking to them. He was sharp enough to compliment a marshall involved in the rescue efforts on his haircut, even.

None of them was a doctor, however, and he would need to be assessed by a medical professional to ascertain if he was indeed healthy. In addition, the authorities needed to answer why he disappeared in the first place.

Dazed And Confused

One officer said, “I don’t know exactly how long he was in this state for, but it’s very likely he was there the whole time.” Kosik was found close to the car, leading the investigators to believe that he had stayed around there the whole time.

This theory was supported by the fact that Kosik wore the same clothes. Soon after he was found, an ambulance took him to the hospital for further evaluation.

Alec And Joe’s Contribution

It appeared that Judge Kosik went missing because of failing health and memory loss, which likely caused him to be disoriented in the woods. Failing health was actually what prompted him to retire a year earlier. Had his car not been found, there’s no telling what would have happened.

In all probability, he would have starved to death or died of exposure right by where he left his car. U.S. Marshal Martin Pane recognized Alec and Joe’s contribution in saving the federal judge’s life.

Modest Young Men

Pane noted that “we’re very thankful to these two young men that they saw this vehicle, happened to be in this area, fortunately.” Although they were instrumental in saving the judge’s life, Joe said he wasn’t seeking thanks.

According to him, they were just happy Kosik is all right and delighted that they were able to be of assistance to the law enforcement agencies. Joe says that one day he would like to be a police officer as well. The story didn’t end there, however. 

Happy Ending

It’s actually still uncertain exactly what happened in the woods that night when Judge Kosik went missing. He was unable to reconstruct exactly what had happened, clearly suffering from memory loss during that time.

Everything he recalled was blurry and unreliable, making any version of events from his perspective less useful for law enforcement trying to string together what had happened.The important part was that Edwin Kosik was healthy and safe. The boys, meanwhile, were rightfully treated like heroes.

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