October 28, 2012

Police, DEC ask hunters' help in locating missing teen

Hunters and others bushwhacking in the woods in the Town of Piercefield in St. Lawrence County and the Town of Tupper Lake in Franklin County are asked to look for and report signs of Colin Gillis, New York State Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation have requested.

Gillis, 18, of Tupper Lake, was last seen March 10 walking on State Route 3 between the communities of Tupper Lake and Piercefield. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds.

Gillis was last seen wearing a white American Eagle v-neck shirt with black stripes and short sleeves, blue Levi boot cut jeans and red Nike Air high top sneakers. He may also have been wearing a reversible black or red L.L. Bean coat and carrying an orange-and-black day pack.

Hunters have been helpful in the past locating and reporting signs of lost or missing persons 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.

Hunters or anyone else that find any items that Gillis may have been wearing or carrying are asked to contact State Police at 897-2000 or the DEC Dispatch at 897-1300.

In March, DEC forest rangers, State Police, local emergency response agencies and the area search and rescue teams, assisted by hundreds of volunteers from the community, spent seven days searching more than 2,000 acres of lands, miles of the Raquette River and both Raquette Pond and Piercefield Flow. Volunteers alone expended more than 1,000 person days or approximately 10,000 hours actively searching for Gillis.

State Police still have an open missing person investigation seeking Gillis. The DEC forest rangers’ search for him is in a limited continuous status. Under the limited continuous search, local forest rangers, search-and-rescue teams and others continue to conduct spot searches and training exercises in the area, and periodic over-flights of helicopters will search the lands and waters in the area.

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