Search for missing teen near Tupper Lake scaled back

By WKTV News

TUPPER LAKE, N.Y. - Authorities say that a week-long search for a missing teen in the Tupper Lake area has now been scaled back.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, who has been heading the search, the search for Colin Gillis, 18, has been downgraded to limited continuous status by DEC Forest Rangers. New York State Police will continue to investigate his whereabouts.

Authorities said that all reasonable efforts have been made to search all probable areas where Gillis may have been located and that other than a couple of personal items located Monday, March 12, along State Route 3, no signs of Gillis have been found.

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.

Community volunteers alone expended more than 1,000 person days or approximately 10,000 hours actively searching for Gillis.

Under the limited continuous search, local Forest Rangers, search and rescue teams and other will conduct spot searches and training exercises in the area, and periodic over-flights of helicopters will search the lands and waters in the area.

Over the course of the search, 25 DEC Forest Rangers and DEC Operations staff; New York State Police Investigators, Troopers, Aviation Unit, Special Response Operations Team, Dive Team and K-9 units; Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Tupper Lake Police Department, Tupper Lake Fire Department and Dive Team, Piercefield Fire Department, Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks, Lower Adirondacks Search and Rescue, Champlain Valley K-9 and US Army Helicopters from Fort Drum participated in all or parts of the search effort.

Gillis was reported to have wandered away from a social gathering at a private residence on Paskungameh Road in Tupper Lake on Saturday night, March 10 or the early morning hours of Sunday, March 11.

He was last seen walking on State Route 3 heading towards Piercefield.

Gillis is 61" tall and weighs 170 pounds. He was wearing a white shirt with black stripes, blue jeans and red sneakers.

Anyone with any information that may help in locating Gillis is asked to call the State Police at 518-897-2000.

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