It was a grim and tragic discovery on Thursday night in Toms River when a missing township man was found floating in the water of a closed in-ground pool on North Gateway.

After entering the backyard police found Erik J. Bierach, 45 years old, of Toms River under the pool cover.

Bierach had an extensive mental health history and was reported missing by his brother on July 16.

Police say there is no indication of foul play and that an autopsy will be conducted to determine his cause of death.

An investigation into the death is ongoing.

Detective Andrew Chencharik of the Toms River is leading the investigation in conjunction with Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Anyone who may have seen or interacted with Bierach between July 16 and 19 is asked to contact Detective Chencharik at 732-349-1050 extension 1338 or achencharik @trpolice.org.

The public is reminded that criminal charges are accusations only.  Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

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