Long Branch Police and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office have confirmed that the body the Long Branch lifeguards pulled from the surf on Saturday, June 2, was that of the missing Patterson teenager.
Rudy Mena, 17, was swimming in the ocean with his sister and another man on May 27, around 5pm when he was apparently caught in a rip current. Emergency responders from the city police and fire departments along with the State Police and Coast Guard conducted an extensive grid search of the area for nearly 24 hours.
Officials had concluded that Mena was the victim of an accidental drowning and presumed to have been pulled out to sea. However, some now feel that he was pulled and trapped on a jetty that was next to the beach where he was swimming.
A quick and violent storm passed through our area on Friday, June 1, and the rough waters might have dislodged Mena from the rocks. Saturday, June 2, lifeguards pulled a body from the ocean located behind the Avenue in Pier Village around 3:00pm.