MOOERS -- A routine task took Darcy R. Manor to the camp where he was murdered Thursday night.

"He was fixing a pump or something, just helping out," said Stacy Manor, brother of the Mooers man, whose murderer remained at large Friday.

State Police mounted a search statewide and beyond for Manor's teal, 1992 Ford pickup truck, cautioning anyone who spots it to immediately call for help.

"Don't approach it," said New York State Police Troop B commander Maj. Richard Smith.

Manor's attacker -- or attackers -- are considered very dangerous and possibly armed, he said.

State Police increased patrols in the Mooers area; Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain said during an afternoon news conference they would continue around the clock, as would the command post at the Mooers Fire Station on Route 11.

"We want the people who reside in this area to use extreme caution," he said. "There is a murderer or murderers on the loose."

Police revealed no details about how Manor died.

Manor's body was found at the camp -- Churubusco Lodge -- at about 12:10 a.m. Friday by a friend who had joined with others to search for him after he failed to return home Thursday evening.

Help was summoned by phone from a neighboring camp, police said.

Manor had closed DJ's Auto car-repair shop in Ellenburg Depot at about 5 p.m., Stacy said, then driven the pickup to the camp, where he was part-time caretaker.

"Come to get dark, his wife started wondering," he said, taking a few moments to talk about his brother at Ellenburg Depot Fire Station.

TALL MAN

There, after a long, middle-of-the-night drive from his job downstate at Greenhaven Correctional, Stacy helped load folding chairs and tables for use by loved ones gathering at his brother's residence, just a few miles from where he died.

Darcy Manor, a full-time Northern Adirondack Central School bus driver and longtime Ellenburg Depot Fire Department member, leaves his wife, Heather, and their two preschool-age sons, Jake and Evan.

"It was highly unusual for him not to come home ..." said Smith at a news conference earlier in the day. "It was completely out of character."

"My brother was 6 foot, like myself," Stacy said. "I can't imagine anyone taking him out barehanded. It was either more than one (attacker) or some kind of weapon."

He shook his head over the senselessness of it all.

"If it was for the car, take the car," he said.

CLOSE TO BORDER

The homicide happened on the grounds of the camp, a gated property with several buildings and a number of four-wheeler trails off the Drown Road, north of where it changes from pavement to dirt.

The Quebec border is just a short distance beyond.

"There's always been (unsavory) activity around the border," Stacy said.

The idea of an illegal alien committing murder to gain access to a vehicle is one that was voiced, too, after the murder seven months ago of Mooers Forks woman Alphegina Snide, who was killed in her home not far from where Manor died.

A neighbor, it turned out, was arrested for that homicide and now awaits trial.

HUNT ON

Police, with help from numerous other law-enforcement agencies, including U.S. Border Patrol, New York state forest rangers and Clinton County Sheriff's Department, closed off the area around the camp during Friday's investigation. Troopers on foot searched for clues along Canaan Road, near Drown Road.

A Homeland Security helicopter touched down behind the Mooers Fire Station, where police operated a command post.

There were no suspects, yet, LaFountain said. An autopsy on Manor's body is scheduled for today.

BIG, CLOSE FAMILY

Just west of the Town of Mooers hamlet of Cannon's Corners, as the day crawled on, family and friends stood in small groups on the neatly tended lawn of Manor's residence. Two men held hands with a small boy, walking across the backyard, where a Belgian workhorse nodded its head over a red gate.

Blackflies swarmed thickly in the humid air.

Midmorning, the flag at Ellenburg Depot Firehouse hung at half-staff in honor of Manor.

"He was one of my daytime firemen," said Fire Chief Richard Manor, carrying chairs out the door. "One of my best ones."

The murdered man was also his nephew, and words came hard.

Grief over his death would touch many, Stacy said.

"Both our parents have 14 brothers and sisters," he said.

Then there are Manor's wife's relatives, another large family.

Manor was devoted to caring for his grandmother, Jeannette Rowe, who lives across the road from his home, Stacy said.

His brother was a good man, he said, a very good man.

"He did anything he could do to help anybody."

smoore@pressrepublican.com

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