When two teens went ATVing on an outdoor trail in the woods one day, they saw an SUV stuck on a log with two smashed windows. Finding this quite unusual, the teens investigated. What they found made them realize that something was very wrong, and they quickly called the police.
That particular day in 2017, Joe Delvecchio, then 18, and Alec Yanisko, then 15, were out quading on the ATV trails near the Dunmore Reservoir in Pennsylvania when they spotted an Acura SUV with two smashed windows in the woods.
The two Dunmore High School students later told WNEP that they didn’t usually see cars in that area, as it was mostly for small, off-road vehicles, so they thought there might be something wrong. They decided to take a closer look at the car.
— WNEP (@WNEP) April 1, 2017
When Delvecchio and Yanisko reached the SUV, a quarter mile from the road, they peered inside and found a Sam’s Club card with the name Edwin Kosik on it. After a quick Google search, what they found online shocked both of them.
“We went to type it in online to see if we knew them or anything like that, and we seen all the attention it had,” Delvecchio said.
It turned out that Edwin Kosik was a missing 92-year-old retired federal judge from Lackawanna County, who was best known for sending two corrupt judges to lengthy prison terms for their role in the notorious “kids for cash” scandal in 2008.
They were riding on a when they noticed something strange.
The teens thought the judge must be in trouble, so they quickly took action. After getting home and telling their parents about the discovery, they called the police and led them to the remote spot in the woods where the judge was found. “It’s more like for ATVs,” said Yanisko. “It was on a log, and there was no way of getting it off by himself.”
Soon, the officers found Judge Kosik lying on the ground not far from his SUV. The elderly judge was soon sent to the hospital. He was reportedly still in good condition after being missing in the woods for two days.
— WNEP (@WNEP) August 30, 2018
Thankfully, these two quick-thinking young men were in the right spot at the right time and made a good decision. “We’re very thankful to these two young men that they saw this vehicle. [They] happened to be in this area, fortunately,” said U.S. Marshal Martin Pane.
It goes without saying, the two students were happy to have saved Judge Kosik, whom they hoped to meet after he had fully recovered. Yanisko said: “Just glad that he’s alive,” whilst Delvecchio added: “We’re glad he’s OK, glad that we could help out.”
Joe Del Vecchio and Alec Yanisko are the recipients of the 37th Director's Honorary Awards for helping find missing U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik back in March 2017.
Sadly, two years after the rescue, Judge Kosik, also a WWII army veteran, passed away on June 13, 2019, at Highland Park Senior Living in Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Remembering Judge Kosik, Lackawanna County President Judge Tom Munley told Fox 56: “We got to be the best of friends. I loved the guy. I tried a lot of cases with him, with me as a lawyer he as a judge. It was just a wonderful experience. The right word would be ‘incredible’ that’s the word. ‘Judge Kosik, incredible man.'”
May you rest in peace, Judge Edwin Kosik.
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