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Locally Known Homeless Man Found Dead At Campsite In Toms River

Cause of death on Billy Clayton pending autopsy results


A homeless Toms River man was found dead by police at his 'campsite' early Thursday evening.

Billy Clayton, 57, was found in his tent in the woods across from the 7-Eleven store between Fischer Boulevard and Hooper Avenue. The cause of death is yet to be determined pending autopsy results, according to Police Chief Michael Mastronardy.

An acquaintance of Clayton's contacted police around 5 p.m. Thursday to alert officers that Clayton hadn't been seen in a while, according to Mastronardy.

Dennis Galante, former owner of Nature Fair on Hooper Avenue, was one of many residents who knew Clayton over the years.

"A lot of us befriended and took care of him," Galante said. "We did the best we could."

"He was a long-time recognized figure by anyone who frequented or lived in the Silverton section of Toms River," Galante added. "This is a tragedy of circumstance of the homeless around us. This follows along with the big problem going on in Ocean County and the lack of housing for them (the homeless)."

Galante had requested that a prayer be said in memory of Clayton at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Hooper Ave in Toms River.

Galante said his friend and associate Eric Corbet, of Holy Cross, wrote the following, which was read at Sunday's masses.

"Dear Lord, we lift up to you William Clayton, who died this week as he lived, homeless and alone in a tent in the woods not far from here. He was as much a victim of his mental illness and past drug use as of an apathetic community that cared not for him as long as he wasn’t bothering anyone. As poor Lazarus was carried away by angels to be by Your side, please give William his place in your kingdom and help us to remember to try to close that chasm that exists between us and the poorest in our society."

gene smith December 14, 2011 at 02:46 AM
before we give any money to ANY other country, and allow illegals to use our hospitals and food stamp programs. every citizen (not anchor baby) deserves a roof over their head and food on the table. end of story. our govt. is too worried about those who "HATE US", like sending them more money will solve the problem. they hate us, it has never changed and it never will...
william sackler December 17, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Jethro Tull was Billys favorate music, i was talking with him at the wawa across from where it is said his camp was. I remember his eyes, blue as can be, wild with passon when he spoke of music, Billy loved music, and tea...I never asked him if living outside was what he wanted, it was an awkward subject.But I feel that he felt a sence of peace out there. Idiots would yell things at him, but he wouldnt even hear it, even if he did. Now that he has passed, I know hes in a better place, with God. RIP Billy
Mike December 20, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Mattie December 20, 2011 at 01:11 PM
Illegals do not get food stamps, welfare or unemployment. http://blog.chron.com/immigration/2008/01/illegal-immigrants-on-welfare-fact-or-fiction/ http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/cost-of-illegal-immigrants/ http://www.theicosamagazine.com/the-broken-system
lady4string June 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM
Rest In Peace.. Serious Question..I Always Saw A Homeless Guy In Silverton. heHe reResemblef Eddie Vedder...Was This Him? I always sore this particular person and wanted to take them to my house on thanksgiving for shower and a meal. VEry sad.


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