New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger John Streiff briefs media members at the Piercefield Highway Department on the third day of the search for 18-year old Collin Gillis.
Officials from the New York State Police and Department of Environmental Conservation did not have a lot of new information three days into the search for a missing Tupper Lake teen.
State Police Sgt. Scott Heggelke and DEC Forest Ranger John Streiff said that they are continuing to search, follow leads and interview the friends of Colin Gillis, 18, who was last seen at approximately 1:45 a.m. walking Route 3 near the Franklin/St. Lawrence County line.
“We really do not have anything new,” Heggelke said. “We are still working to conduct interviews and follow up on leads, and everything has remained consistent on where he was last seen and when.”
“We are running well from a logistics and volunteer standpoint,” Streiff said.
The ranger added that there were fewer volunteers on the third day of the search than there were on the first two days, when they topped out at 404.
"We have more specific teams from the New York State Police and teams that specialize in these searches,” Streiff said. “We are starting to get closer to the water and going downstream on the Raquette River, and we continue to use aviation as well as air boats and dive teams.”
Officials said that there was also an offer of resources from Fort Drum, including helicopters.
“We have the offer, but we also want to make sure that we do not have too many copters in the air,” Streiff said.
Streiff also said that the search was utilizing sonar that had been brought in from the Rochester area to search in the water, along with underwater cameras to look around the local bridges.
“We should have conducted a complete mile-wide radius search by tomorrow and then we will regroup and figure out where to go from there.”
Heggelke said that they had talked to three different drivers who had seen Gillis Sunday morning, the first of which offered to give the teenager a ride, the second having passed by and then driven to the Tupper Lake Police Office to report the matter, along with a third who had been interviewed after the case was opened.
“The Tupper Lake department got in touch with state police who made a sweep of the area,” Heggelke said. “When our car went by, they did not pass anybody, and that is a pretty quiet part of the night.”
Heggelke said that other options continue to remain open.
“We are interviewing everybody who was at the party, other friends, monitoring Facebook activity,” Heggelke said. “We are going to keep going until we exhaust everything.”
That includes checking in with friends at Brockport University, where Gillis was enrolled. Authorities said that the campus officials had been talking to friends there and had investigated his dorm room.
Anyone who may have seen Gillis on March 10 or 11 and can offer information to authorities is asked to call New York State Police at 897-2000.