By LOHR McKINSTRY and ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
---- — SCHROON LAKE — Searchers combed the woods around Schroon Lake Airport on Monday for missing teenager Cole Anauo.
His mother, Alexis Anauo, said she had last seen her son Saturday about 7 p.m., riding his bike toward their Davis Road home.
When she returned home at about 9 p.m, she said, the bike was there but Cole was not.
“He rode his bike home, and from that point, we’re not sure if someone picked him up and gave him a ride or if he’s on foot,” she said.
Someone reported seeing Cole at about 11 a.m. Sunday in a green kayak, paddling up the Schroon River, she said via cellphone.
And the 15-year-old’s backpack was found at the airport on Alder Meadow Road, and on Monday, another bag and a tent she said belong to her son were located near their home.
“I’m at a loss,” she said.
LAST SEEN SUNDAY
State Police Troop B Public Information Officer Trooper Jennifer Fleishman said the department believes the teen ran away; his mother thought so, too, at first.
But other scenarios have played out in her mind as the hours passed.
Her son was last seen walking at about 1 p.m. Sunday on Alder Meadow Road in Schroon Lake about 4 or 5 miles from his home, she said.
Maybe a motorist stopped and gave him a ride somewhere, she said.
“(But) someone could have not so innocently picked him up,” she said.
“Like I said to the troopers, what if?”
State Police Troop State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers, State Police and the Schroon Lake Fire Department were engaged in the search, with family and friends rallying to find Cole as well.
Alexis speculated he might be in the woods, which, she noted, he doesn’t know very well.
“At this point, I don’t know if he could be hurt,” she said.
By 6 p.m. she felt frustrated with how the search was going, she said, as permission had yet to be received for searchers to go on some private property and she didn’t think canine units had been employed to help.
Cole is a 10th-grade student at Schroon Lake Central School, School Superintendent Bonnie Finnerty said.
Foul play was not suspected, and it appeared the youth left home on his own, authorities said.
Cole is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 110 pounds and has a slender build. He has dark brown curly hair and light brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing a red Boston Red Sox hat, a yellow shirt with a black design on it, black shorts and black Nike shoes.
He also had a red sweatshirt with him, Alexis said.
“I don’t believe he has any food or money,” she added.
If needed, a new round of searches was set to start at 8 this morning. Any adult who wants to volunteer should call Fire Chief Rodney Secor at 532-7477.
Volunteers should wear long pants and hiking shoes and be prepared to enter the woods.
Anyone with information on the missing teen is asked to call Lewis-based New York State Police at 873-2750.
The Schroon Lake Airport is being used as the unofficial search headquarters.
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.