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Man Trapped In Woods Found By Friends

March 11, 1987

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) _ A deer hunter who fell from a tree and broke his leg was trapped in the woods for three days without food, water or shelter before friends found him, officials say.

Joseph Tilburn, 58, of Atco, fell 10 feet Saturday while checking on potential deer-hunting locations, police said.

Tilburn’s friends, Bob Kusmanick of Deptford and his brother John of Woodbury, went searching after he did not show up for work. They found him late Tuesday in the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area, said police dispatcher Marlene Frandsen.

Temperatures were unseasonably mild over the weekend but plunged below freezing Tuesday. Tilburn was wearing jeans, a T-shirt and a light jacket, John Kusmanick said.

Robert Kusmanick said he and his brother drove to the area because he and Tilburn often hunted there during the deer season.

″When we saw his truck we thought the worst, like he had a heart attack or something,″ he said.

After the Kusmanicks began searching for Tilburn in the dense woods, ″He must have heard us screaming, because he started screaming back,″ Robert Kusmanick said.

″He seemed pretty coherent when we found him, considering the fact that he’d been there for four days, but you could see the bone in his leg pressing against his skin ... and then he started shaking,″ he said.

Tilburn was in fair but stable condition today in Southern Ocean County Hospital in Manahawkin, said nursing supervisor Terry Levey.

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