Local News

October 25, 2012

Colin Gillis investigation remains active, unsolved

TUPPER LAKE — Seven months ago, a teenager walked down a rural road after a party and has not been seen since. 

Despite a massive search through wilderness and waterways last spring, no sign of Colin Gillis surfaced other than his driver’s permit, found on the ground near Setting Pole Dam Road.

“There are no new clues,” Colin’s father, John Gillis, said in a recent interview.

Now, hunters and others in the woods in the towns of Piercefield and Tupper Lake are asked to turn their eyes to continued search, to look for signs of the teen.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation says hunters have been helpful when others have been lost or missing in the woods.

“Leaves are off the trees and shrubs at this time of year, hunters seek game in areas that most people do not enter, and hunters are keen observers as they hunt,” DEC spokesperson David Winchell said in a press release Wednesday.


Colin, 18, was last seen walking toward Piercefield along Route 3 about 2 a.m. March 11, having left a large party in Tupper Lake.

He was headed in a direction opposite to his family’s home. His cellphone was last used at 1:30 a.m. that day.

Hundreds of volunteers, police, State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers, firefighters, family, friends and neighbors combed areas around Raquette Pond, Raquette River and the dams below.

Colin was a biology student at SUNY Brockport, having entered as a sophomore. He was home on March 11 for spring break. The teen had graduated from Tupper Lake High School in 2011.

Mr. Gillis said they have heard of nothing new in the investigation from State Police or the DEC.

“As part of the DEC limited continuous search, they are always looking,” he said of Region 5 forest rangers.

“The State Police play it really close,” he added, offering confidence that every lead or potential lead is being tracked down.

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