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Missing Man: William Schmidbauer - NJ - 09/23/2007

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William Schmidbauer



Classification:  Endangered Missing Adult 
Date of Birth:  1943-01-23 
Date Missing:  2007-09-23 
From City/State:  Manchester, NJ 
Missing From (Country):  USA 
Age at Time of Disappearance:  64 
Gender:  Male 
Race:  White 
Height:  74 inches 
Weight:  170 pounds 
Hair Color:  Brown 
Hair (Other):  Graying 
Eye Color:  Brown 
Complexion:  Medium 
Identifying Characteristics:  4" scar on right thigh from combat (shrapnel) wound. 

Circumstances of Disappearance:  Unknown. William was last seen at the Cedar Glen West Development of Manchester Township in NJ. It is believed he left on foot with only his wallet and ID. Other personal belongings such as cash, car keys, credit cards and medications were left at home. William is a Vietnam Veteran has been acting despondent and depressed lately. 

Investigative Agency:  Manchester Police Department 
Phone:  (732) 657-6111 
Investigative Case #:  07-2246 
NCIC #:  M-836784009 

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

William Schmidbauer, Vietnam Vet missing from NJ

Vietnam Veteran Vanishes From Manchester Township

Reporting Jay Dow

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) ― A Vietnam veteran has vanished without a trace, and now police are calling on the public to help them solve the mystery.

William Schmidbauer, 64, was last seen by his wife on the night of Sept. 23.

"I'd went to bed and Bill came in and kissed me goodnight," she told CBS 2.

Manchester Township police confirmed that the next morning after Jean woke up, she found the newspaper on the table, as usual, but her husband -- a retired career Army man -- was gone.

Investigators speculate William's military experience may have something to do with his disappearance.

"He left his keys. He left his vehicle. He had his cash laid out," Jean said.

William also left behind his emphysema medication, his credit cards, and his wife of 41 years.

"I don't know what else I can say, he's the other half of the whole," Jean said.

Manchester police say they have one working lead. Two days after Mr. Schmidbauer disappeared from his home, a passing motorist resident reported they saw the Vietnam vet sitting on the ground here along Route 70.

"Since that sighting, we've sat at the intersection here and handed out over 2,000 fliers here trying to alert any motorists that may have picked him up," Det. Joe Hankins said.

Police do not suspect foul play.

But Jean says her husband was depressed before he vanished, adding he still wrestles with traumatic memories from his service in Vietnam.

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William    Schmidbauer


Last Name Schmidbauer   

First Name William   

Middle Name   

Sex Male   

Race Caucasian   

Date Of Birth 01/23/1943   

Place Of Birth New Jersey   

Height 6'2"   

Weight 170 pounds   

Hair Gray   

Eyes Hazel   

Complexion Medium   

Scars/Marks/Tattoos See Below   

Last Seen September 23, 2007   

NCIC M836784009   

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William Schmidbauer

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: September 23, 2007 from Manchester, New Jersey

Classification: Endangered Missing

Date of Birth: January 23, 1943

Age: 64 years old

Height and Weight: 6'1 - 6'2, 170 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Graying brown hair, hazel eyes. Schmidbauer has a four-inch scar on his right thigh and varicose veins in both legs. He wears upper dentures.

Clothing/Jewelry Description: A brown t-shirt, blue shorts, black sandals and a Timex Indiglo watch with a silver band.

Medical Conditions: Schmidbauer suffers from depression and may have post-traumatic stress symptoms as a result of his experiences serving in Vietnam. He also suffers from emphysema and does not have his medication with him.

Details of Disappearance

Schmidbauer was last seen on September 23, 2007 at the Cedar Glen West Development, a community for seniors in Manchester, New Jersey. His wife went to bed at 11:30 p.m. and he kissed her goodnight. The next morning when she woke up, Schmidbauer's newspaper was on the table but he was gone. He left behind his vehicle, keys, credit cards, medication and cash, but may have been carrying his wallet and identification. Two days later, a motorist reported seeing him along along Route 70 between the intersection of Green Acres Road and Christ Lutheran Church, about three miles from his home. He has never been heard from again.

Schmidbauer was a career Army man and served in Vietnam. Foul play is not suspected in his case, but authorities are concerned for his safety. His disappearance remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Manchester Township Police Department


Source Information

New Jersey State Police


The Asbury Park Press

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Family won't give up hope for missing man

July 11, 2008

HOLMDEL  The family and friends of William Schmidbauer, along with his fellow veterans are gathering about 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Vietnam Memorial at the PNC Bank Arts Center to remember him and to generate some hope for Schmidbauer, who virtually vanished during the night from his home in a senior citizen community in Manchester last September.

His disappearance remains a mystery to his wife, Jean, his son, his daughter and his three grandchildren.

Schmidbauer was 64 when he was last seen by his wife on Sept. 23. He is a retired career military man who served in the 11th Armored Cavalry Black Horse Regiment in Vietnam. The couple had their children while he served and they followed him with military careers.

For his son, Johann Schmidbauer, fliers with the question "Have you seen this person," which contain pictures of Schmidbauer, have a special meaning him.

Johann Schmidbauer, 40, of Stafford, was born in Germany where his father was serving in the military. He was very close to his father, he said.

Police and emergency personnel scoured miles of the grounds, roads and forests surrounding the Cedar Glen Development where the couple lived in Manchester. Officials searched multiple times over the winter and spring.

Lisa Schmidbauer Tietchen, 37, Jean and William's daughter, lives in Sioux Falls, S.D. Tietchen works as a mental health outpatient therapist for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sioux Falls and helps people much like her father.

"Being an Army brat and having a deeper understanding and seeing my father readjusting" after retiring from the military gave her the inspiration for her career.

In her work, Tietchen said she has "seen the resiliency" of veterans.

Her father provided her "with a show of strength and perseverance to continue on. That was his example and he will continue on as we search for him," she said.

"It is just a bizarre scenario on a personal level," said Johann Schmidbauer. "You never expect it to happen to you."

Johann Schmidbauer and his wife Shannon will be married 11 years in September.

At this time, all three grandchildren  twin girls and a boy  are the same age. They are all 9 years old.

"Irish triplets," Johann said, explaining he calls them that because his son, Andrew is 11 months older than the twins, Montana and Cheyenne. All three are very close to their grandparents. They spend every weekend being beacons of strength for their grandmother.

"You always worry about your kids but you don't think it will be one of your parents," Johann Schmidbauer said.

"With the kids you say "stay where I can see you; call me when you get there,' " he said.

But his father, a chain smoker "left without his cigarettes," something that makes his son think that he was the victim of foul play despite living in a quiet, peaceful retirement community, he said.

Jean Schmidbauer says she is fearful of the future. She doesn't know what happened to her husband. But she definitely knows he never went anywhere without his cigarettes, she said.

"I just don't get it," she said.

"I can't picture him at all, ever, at any point, wanting to just go off on his own," his son said. "He and I were just too close. He told me stuff about Vietnam that he never told to other people."

"In a million years I don't see him leaving on his own free will. I don't see that happening. That is what bothers me the most," Johann Schmidbauer said.

"I have dreams he just shows up at family gathering, or I am at the mall and I see him," he said.

"My sister and my mom have done so much in trying to find him," Johann Schmidbauer said. "I don't understand why he left. It is hard for me."

"I am really grateful to the Manchester police," and he hopes they keep actively investigating the case.

Tietchen said she hopes Saturday's gathering at the Vietnam Memorial will help draw some attention to her missing father.

"I have a fantasy he will come" to where the family and friends are gathering in his honor Saturday, Tietchen said. All are welcome, she said.

Jean and William met when they were 14 years old. They were wed just before he was sent to Vietnam; they have been married for 42 years.

Manchester Detective Joe Hankins worked with the family on the case. Authorities have asked homeless shelters to look among their clients for him.

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Tribute to veteran who disappeared

By Kim Predham • FREEHOLD BUREAU • July 13, 2008

HOLMDEL  On a fall day last year, Manchester resident William Schmidbauer just vanished.

"It's still surreal to me. . . . I keep thinking we're missing something," his wife, Jean, said Saturday.

Jean Schmidbauer joined friends and family at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Holmdel on Saturday to remember her husband and call attention once again to his puzzling disappearance.

About 25 people attended the ceremony, which focused on memories of William Schmidbauer and prayers for his return. Several people held white candles, though most remained unlit.

William, a retired career military man, was 64 when he was last seen by his wife Sept. 23. Police and emergency personnel scoured the area surrounding the Cedar Glen West development where the couple lived, but all to no avail.

On Saturday, Jean spoke briefly about her husband, recalling how they met at 14 and wed at 23. The two married just before William left for the Vietnam War.

"He was . . . He is a good father," said Jean, 65. "An interesting husband. Never a dull moment."

Relatives, including the Schmidbauers' children, Lisa Schmidbauer Tietchen and Johann "Bill" Schmidbauer, also spoke at the brief ceremony.

"Growing up, all of my friends had heroes like football players. . . . I never had that. My hero was always my dad. And I miss him," said Bill, 40, of Stafford, tearing up as he finished speaking.

Since his disappearance, Tietchen has succeeded in listing her father with national and state missing-persons registries. He is also featured on the "America's Most Wanted" Web site.

"Any time I focus my efforts on finding my father, that gives me strength," said Tietchen, 37, of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Officials searched several times during the winter and spring for William, with no luck. Manchester Detective Joe Hankins, who has worked with the family on the case, was thanked Saturday for his efforts.

William's disappearance remains a mystery to his family, made more so because he left without his car keys, his checkbook and the medicine he takes for several conditions.

Most baffling for Jean is that her husband, a chain smoker, left without his cigarettes.

"The fact that those cigarettes were on the table" is what Jean still has trouble understanding, she said.

The couple had an active life together and had plans to meet friends for bingo a few days after the disappearance, she said. What may have happened, she surmised, is that William somehow suffered from an amnesia that left him unable to remember who he was.

"You don't just disappear off the face of the earth without something," Jean said.

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Drills help develop emergency rescue skills in volunteers

By SARAH WEBSTER • STAFF WRITER • September 21, 2008

SEA GIRT  Glen Blue says he remembers the day he was called out with a Community Emergency Response Team to help find a missing person.

Manchester and Toms River CERTs deployed to search for William Schmidbauer, said Blue, a resident of Toms River. Schmidbauer, a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran, disappeared from his Manchester home Sept. 23, 2007.

"The Manchester police said they were impressed based on our training and our professionalism," Blue said, adding that the reason he volunteers for CERT is to give something back to the community.

About 800 volunteers from throughout the state participated in live exercise scenarios Saturday at the New Jersey State Police Academy. The event is put on annually by the state Office of Emergency Management in conjunction with National Preparedness Month.

"This exercise is to show the response capabilities of our volunteer community, specifically the Citizen Corps, Medical Reserve Corps and CERT programs," said Lt. Joseph Geleta, coordinator of the New Jersey CERT.

CERT volunteers tested their responses in a variety of exercises, he said, such as cribbing (lifting procedures), medical operations, bus rescue, first aid and triage (prioritizing patients based on the severity of their conditions).

There were about seven different training scenarios, and some included volunteer faux victims.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts posed as wounded victims in the rescue triage drill. Volunteers had to locate them and assess their "injuries."

First Lt. Mark S. Swanson said the Civil Air Patrol brought about 50 members trained in ground search and rescue to help. They were involved in a search scenario, which involves locating victims in places such as a forest or woods.

Other volunteers were from the Salvation Army and American Red Cross.

"This is an outstanding corps of volunteers in the state of New Jersey," said Capt. Edward Cetnar, executive officer of the state Office of Emergency Management. "We (CERT) have over 15,000 members and 26 teams, and we continue to grow. It shows our dedication and our cooperation with the State Police, Office of Emergency Management and the volunteers throughout New Jersey."

The CERT program trains people in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations, according to the organization's Web site. CERT members can assist others in a neighborhood or workplace emergency when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Christian Momm, 31, of Toms River CERT said, "The training we get gives us the tools to assist other people."

Joe DePasquale, 45, of Manalapan CERT said he used to be a firefighter, and he joined CERT a year ago because of events like those on Sept 11, 2001.

"I wanted to be a part of it," he said.

The volunteers are testing their capabilities, Geleta said. "I am very impressed by the turnout."

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William Schmidbauer  

Sex Male   

Race Caucasian   

Date Of Birth 01/23/1943   

Place Of Birth New Jersey   

Height 6'2"   

Weight 170 pounds   

Hair Gray   

Eyes Hazel   

Complexion Medium   

Scars/Marks/Tattoos See Below   

Last Seen September 23, 2007   

NCIC M836784009   

William was last seen on September 23, 2007 at the Cedar Glen West Development in Manchester, NJ. It is believed that he left on foot with only his wallet and identification. He has a scar on his thigh and varicose veins on both legs. He does have a set of full upper dentures. He is wearing a Timex Indiglo silver band watch.

Any further information, please contact Manchester Township Police Department at #732-657-6111 or NJSP Missing Persons Unit at #800-709-7090.     

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Cops: Search For Missing Vietnam Vet Continues

William Schmidbauer

Cops in New Jersey are asking for the public's help in locating a missing Vietnam veteran.

Cops say 65-year-old William Schmidbauer has been missing since the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007.

According to Schmidbauer's wife, Jean, the last time she saw her husband was on the night of Saturday September 22, 2007, around 11:30 p.m., when he planted a kiss on her cheek as she lay in bed.

Jean says she doesn't know whether he went back into the living room to continue watching television, or if he called it a night and went right to bed.

The next morning, Jean got up between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. She found the morning paper had been brought in and left on the kitchen table just like always. Jean didn't immediately worry when she didn't see her husband; she assumed he had wandered next door to have a cigarette and talk to their neighbor like he always had.

But when Jean went next door, the neighbor told her they had not seen William that morning.

Rattled, Jean went back into the house to check the guest room where she assumed William had slept. She remembered the night before, how he had complained of back pain. She told herself that perhaps he decided to sleep in. Jean peeked inside the guest room, but there was no sign of him.

As she scoured the house for signs of her husband, Jean discovered that William's wallet was gone, but his medication, car keys and inhaler were still in the home. Cops say that's when Jean became frantic and called the police.

Based on Jean's description of Schmidbauer's fragile mental state in recent months and the fact that he had medications upon which he was dependent, police immediately conducted an air and land search. They brought in both K-9 and cadaver dogs to scour the surrounding wooded area, but their searches turned up nothing.

At one point, police got a tip that Schmidbauer had been spotted close to Route 70 near the intersection of Green Acres Road and Christ Lutheran Church. Police canvassed the area and handed out fliers, but the lead went nowhere.

Jean worries that stress and depression may have caused her husband to become confused and wander off.

Family Struggles To Cope With Disappearance

William Schmidbauer has been missing since Sept. 23, 2007. Police believe he may have been in a confused state and could have hitched a ride from a sympathetic driver.

During their investigation into Schmidbauer's disappearance, cops discovered he had left his car keys, credit cards, medication and cash behind. Cops say a person bent on leaving doesn't just abandon these kinds of items, especially a car or other vehicle upon which they are dependent.

Cops learned the missing man had been very despondent in the preceding months, but his wife assured police that her husband would never commit suicide.

According to his wife, Schmidbauer was concerned about U.S. soldiers who were returning from Iraq. He worried that these war veterans were not receiving proper care upon their return to the United States, and he was convinced that, like himself, some of them were receiving incorrect diagnoses.

Schmidbauer also felt that he was on the losing end of an on-going struggle with Veterans Affairs officials. According to Jean, for the last five years, William has filed multiple claims with the VA office -- all of which had been rejected. Jean believes this caused William to sink into depression, and that this heavy burden caused him to become overly agitated about the small things in life.

Moreover, Jean worries the stress and depression may have caused her husband to become confused and wander off.

As the couple's 42nd anniversary approaches, Jean doesn't know how she will respond to people who ask her how long she has been married. She wonders aloud, how she can claim it will be 42 years of marriage if her husband is still missing?

The strain is apparent in her voice, and she says the waiting and wondering is taking it's toll on the entire family.

Police are anxious to hear from anyone who believes they might have encountered the man in or around Manchester Township.

They say Schmidbauer suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is dependent on an inhaler. The longer Schmiedbauer remains missing, the more intense the need to find him becomes.

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No trace of Manchester retiree since disappearance


By Kathleen Hopkins @Khopkinsapp 9:16 a.m. EDT September 13, 2014


MANCHESTER – William Schmidbauer served his country in the jungles of Vietnam, where he was wounded by shrapnel in a tank explosion.


The memories of combat continued for a long time afterward.


More than a quarter of a century after he retired from a 20-year military career, Schmidbauer battled depression and seemed obsessed with the welfare of U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Then, one day in 2007, he would tell a neighbor he wanted to "end it all.''


Two days later, he vanished.


There was no note and no body. There were no signs of suicide, homicide or misadventure.


Whatever happened, Schmidbauer didn't leave a trace.


Almost seven years after his disappearance, Schmidbauer's family continues to look for answers. And detectives are taking a fresh look at the case in hopes of solving the mystery of the missing veteran.


"I cannot live the rest of my life without knowing what happened to my father,'' the Army veteran's daughter, Lisa Schmidbauer-Curcio, said recently.


His wife, Jean, died not knowing what became of her husband.


"My mother passed away suddenly in April, and that has compounded this for me,'' Schmidbauer-Curcio said. "I live with the unknown with my father. It will be seven years on Sept. 23 that he was missing.''


When William Schmidbauer disappeared that day in 2007, he and Jean had been married for 41 years. About a year before, they had moved from their home in the Manahawkin section of Stafford to a cooperative unit on Robin Street in the Cedar Glen West retirement complex in Manchester.


Jean Schmidbauer would take frequent trips to Atlantic City, but her husband didn't care to go with her and instead would sit on the front porch of his new neighbor, Dan Fuchek, said Manchester police Sgt. Joseph Hankins.


Schmidbauer would talk daily with Fuchek about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Detective Christopher Hemhauser, who now is assigned to the case, along with Detective Adam Guker, both of the Manchester Police Department.


"He was upset about the guys coming back from the war, that the guys were going to come back all messed up, and he was worried about that,'' Hemhauser said. "He was concerned for the (post-traumatic stress disorder).''


Schmidbauer himself suffered from PTSD.


The native of Kenilworth joined the U.S. Army at 18, right out of high school. Five years later, he wooed away Jean from her onetime fiancé and convinced her to marry him instead, promising to show her the world as he pursued a military career, Schmidbauer-Curcio said.


The couple first met when they were both 14 and attending Jonathan Dayton Regional High School in Springfield, Schmidbauer-Curcio said.


Her father served with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam as an infantryman in the jungle, she said.


"It was during that time when he earned his Purple Heart," she said.


Schmidbauer's service also took him to Germany and all over the United States, as he and Jean raised Lisa, now 44, of Basking Ridge, and their son, Johann, now 46, of Middlesex, the father of the Schmidbauers' four grandchildren.


When Schmidbauer retired from the military in 1981, the family settled down in Jean's hometown of Berkeley Heights. But his transition to civilian life wasn't smooth.


"He had a really difficult time adjusting to civilian life, and that's when his PTSD manifested, so it wasn't an easy transition,'' Schmidbauer-Curcio said. "He handled it as best as he could."


In the months and weeks leading up to his disappearance, William Schmidbauer's difficulties seemed to worsen, perhaps brought on by physical ailments, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, for which he needed an inhaler, his daughter said.


When she came from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to visit her parents in August 2007, her father seemed depressed and irritable, and she found out he had been missing his PTSD support group meetings, she said.


Hankins recalled Jean Schmidbauer telling him that her husband's medication had been changed around that time, and it seemed to cause an imbalance that agitated him.


Two days before he went missing, a Friday, William Schmidbauer spent time on his neighbor's porch, Hankins said. He had his typical conversation with Dan Fuchek about his concern for the soldiers. Then, the conversation took an alarming turn.


"Before he went missing, Bill told Dan he wanted to end it all,'' Hankins said.


"Dan reminded Bill he had grandkids and a lot of good things in his life,'' Hankins said. "Bill told Dan, 'OK, I won't bring it up again.' ''


That Saturday, William Schmidbauer visited his neighbor while Jean was in Atlantic City, and again he spoke about his concern for the soldiers, detectives said.


Schmidbauer-Curcio said she called her father that day and sensed something was terribly wrong.


"I was very concerned, and I called my mother after the conversation with my father, crying, because I was really concerned. He really just wasn't himself," she said.


That night, Jean went to bed about 11 p.m., as her husband was watching television, Guker said. The couple slept in separate bedrooms, detectives said.


"He came into her room and said, 'good night,' and that was the last time she saw him," Guker said.


Around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, Jean Schmidbauer heard her husband get up, but she stayed in bed until around 9:30 or 10 a.m., Hemhauser said.


When she did get up, that day's Asbury Park Press had been brought inside and was on the kitchen table but her husband wasn't around, according to Hankins.


Wherever he went, he left behind his car, keys, credit cards, cash, inhaler and medication and two items he never went anywhere without — his cigarettes and veteran's identification card, detectives said. He didn't own a cellular phone, they said.


Jean called her daughter about 3 p.m.


"She said, 'Lisa, your father,' and I collapsed to the ground,'' Schmidbauer-Curcio recalled.


At 4:01 p.m. Jean Schmidbauer called the police, and the first of many massive searches for her husband ensued.


Police, firefighters and dogs searched woods and areas surrounding Schmidbauer's home before nightfall. It would be the first of some 15 unsuccessful searches, including one by air, between that day and Oct. 6, when the effort was called off due to the onset of hunting season, detectives said.


Detectives searched the Schmidbauers' home the day after he went missing, but found no clues to where he may have gone, nor any weapons.


Schmidbauer-Curcio said her father hadn't owned a gun since he retired from the military.


Leads from a national database on missing persons led nowhere, as did checks of all the hospitals in New Jersey, area homeless shelters, Tent City in Lakewood, and taxi and bus companies, detectives said.


Since his disappearance, no one has applied for credit or a driver's license in Schmidbauer's name, nor has he shown up in any Atlantic City casinos, detectives said.


The Naval Criminal Investigative Service believes it is unlikely Schmidbauer's disappearance had anything to do with his service or military secrets, Hankins said. Polygraph examiners administered tests to Jean and Johan Schmidbauer and didn't think either had anything to do with William Schmidbauer's disappearance, he said.


Hankins said he thinks Schmidbauer may have received a ride from someone to an area where investigators haven't searched.


"Maybe they will read the (Asbury Park) Press and will call up these investigators and solve this case,'' he said.


Meanwhile, Schmidbauer-Curcio said she holds out little hope her father is still alive, but wants to find out what happened to him.


"I may not find all the answers, but I need to find my father,'' she said.


William Schmidbauer is described as about 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, with graying, brown hair and hazel eyes. He wore upper dentures and was a chain smoker.


Anyone with information should call Manchester police at 732-657-2009. Email tips to and or anonymously through the police department's website,

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