Search underway for missing New Jersey wrestling coach Ed Piccola

Ed Piccola (right) has been missing since May 30

A search is underway for a former wrestler and long-time coach from New Jersey who has been missing for more than week and whose car was found abandoned in Virginia this past weekend.

Ed Piccola, 36, described as a "standout wrestler" in high school who has been coaching at a wrestling training facility in New Jersey, was last seen in at a restaurant and brew pub in Sparta, N.J. on Wednesday evening, May 30. His cell phone was found the next day on the Lake Mohawk Boardwalk.

A missing person's report was filed on Friday, June 1 after he failed to show up for work.

On Sunday, June 3, Piccola's car was located in Luray, Va., straight west of Washington, D.C. and about a five-hour drive southwest of the New Jersey restaurant where he was last seen, according to the New Jersey Herald of Newton, N.J.

Police in Virginia are using bloodhounds and helicopters to try to locate Piccola.

Piccola is described as a white male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing between 140 and 160 pounds. He has no known ties to Page County, Virginia where his car was found, according to police.

Piccola was a four-year varsity wrestler for Sparta High School from 1997 to 2000. Since graduation, he has worked as a wrestling coach at a number of places, including as an assistant at his high school for five years, and, most recently, at Buxton Athletic Training Center in Randolph, N.J., where the company's website indicates he has been involved for more than a decade and has traveled the country working with athletes of all skill levels. The Training Center is run by Jeff Buxton, long-time head wrestling coach at the nationally-ranked Blair Academy in New Jersey. Among other staff members at the facility: Lehigh NCAA heavyweight champ Zach Rey, and University of Maryland All-American Hudson Taylor.

Anyone with information as to Piccola's whereabouts is asked to call the Hopatcong Borough Police Department at 973-398-5000. For updates, check out his sister Holly's Facebook page which is sharing information on the search for Piccola.


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