“It’s been a very heartfelt investigation,” Sabo said.
City Police and State Police were contacted to assist with the search. Branch said City Police called in all of their detectives and a number of uniformed officers to help.
Branch said their investigation revealed Beckles had attended a campus-related function at Valcour Conference Center on Friday evening, then went to downtown Plattsburgh and later returned to campus.
Beckles went to an off-campus party for a few hours later that night and was last seen in the vicinity of Cornelia and Wells streets between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. Saturday, Branch said.
The party was hosted by the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi; members contacted by the Press-Republican had no comment.
Beckles was believed to be walking west along the Route 3 corridor, so some of the search parties covered wooded sections of the city in that area.
Branch said there was added concern because the young man had epilepsy.
“There was an urgency to this,” he said.
Beckles was found dressed in the the same clothing he was wearing the night he disappeared: a black T-shirt, black dress pants, a black-and-white checkered bow tie and black baseball cap.
The clothing was not appropriate for the weather Friday night and Saturday morning, which was cold and rainy, LaFountain said.
Police could not say whether exposure to the elements, drugs or alcohol played a role in the death. That will be determined by the results of the autopsy and toxicology reports.
Beckles’s parents were in Plattsburgh during the search, and City Police broke the news to them that the body had been found, City Police Chief Desmond Racicot said.
Students had organized search parties, spread word through social media and posted missing-person posters.