STAFFORD — The bodies of Gary and Lorraine Parker were found Tuesday afternoon in a densely wooded area of their yard, according to Stafford police.

No one had heard from the couple since they went riding on ATVs on Nov. 21 and never returned home. Gary Parker's ATV was recovered on their large property in the Warren Grove section with his shotgun still strapped to the back.

Police Capt. James Vaughn told New Jersey 101.5 that officers operating a drone spotted the bodies.

"The officer operating the drone noticed a color was a little different, something that looked like light-colored clothing," Vaughn said.

'You literally could have walked by them and be a couple feet from them and missed them.'

Foul play does not look to be involved in their deaths, according to Vaughn, who said autopsies will be performed later this week to determine an exact cause of death.

Vaughn said their bodies were found in a thicket with scrub pine and thorn bushes.

"You literally could have walked by them and be a couple feet from them and missed them. That's why the drone was able to find them by spotting their clothing," Vaughn said. "It's a sad story for the family. We all put a lot of time and effort and energy into it and we were hoping for a better outcome. Sadly this is what we got."

Earlier on Tuesday, Vaughn said that the couple was still considered to be missing persons. There were large searches of the thickly wooded area on the ground and from the air by law enforcement the two days before Thanksgiving.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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