Updated: 5:55 p.m.
The body of a Bethlehem police officer who apparently committed suicide was found in a wooded area of western New Jersey on Sunday, according to report in The Express Times.
Frank A. Rossnagle, 51, had been an officer in the Bethlehem Police Department for more than 15 years, starting in 1997. Prior to that, he had worked as a police officer in New Jersey in Washington Township, which is not far from where his body was found in Mansfield Township.
An entry on the Bethlehem Police Department’s blog paid tribute to the deceased officer today. It said that Rossnagle has been the property/evidence officer for the department for the past four years. He had also worked in the department’s Criminal Investigations Division for more than eight years.
Rossnagle received 10 letters of commendation for exemplary performance while working for the Bethlehem Police Department.
“He was honored for his poise and control during stressful situations, his team efforts and his sense of duty,” the blog post read. “Frank’s contributions to our community have been many and meaningful.”
Rossnagle also served as the department’s historian, “doing many hours of research on his own to uncover many of the details of our department’s past,” according to the tribute blog.
“It is clear that Frank’s passing has left a great void in our police department family and we are all mourning the loss.”
In a comment posted under the blog, Don Hoffman, who identified himself as an officer who was sworn in on the same day as Rossnagle, said he was well loved for a "'gruff' exterior that covered for one of the most tender and caring hearts you could find in a human being."
Schiffer said the department is currently in the process of organizing a memorial for Rossnagle.
Rossnagle is survived by his wife, Audrey, and step-daughter, Amie O'Rourke.