TUPPER LAKE - Hunting season could be an opportunity to find signs of Colin Gillis.
State police and Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers are asking hunters and others bushwhacking in the woods this fall in the towns of Piercefield and Tupper Lake to look for and report signs of the missing Tupper Lake teen.
"In the past, we've had hunters come across things that have helped us locate people," DEC spokesman David Winchell told the Enterprise.
Police believe Tupper Lake teen Colin Gillis may have been wearing a reversible black or red L.L. Bean coat like this one when he went missing March 10.
Police believe Tupper Lake teen Colin Gillis may have been wearing an orange and black day pack like this one when he went missing March 10.
Leaves are mostly 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, Winchell wrote in a press release.
Gillis' brother Lyndon put out the same request to Facebook friends earlier this month. In the Facebook group "Bring Colin Gillis Home," Lyndon asked the more than 6,800 group members to keep sharing information about his missing brother and, "to the hunters on the page, the season is upon us. Please! Be safe, and keep your eyes open for not just the deer."
Lyndon thanked Facebook users for their continued support.
Colin Gillis is described as a white male, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighing about 170 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. State police said he was last seen March 10 on state Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Piercefield, wearing a white shirt with black stripes, blue jeans and red sneakers.
Anyone with information is asked to call state police's Ray Brook headquarters at 518-897-2000.
"We are still hopeful and we await Colin's arrival every day," Lyndon wrote. "Personally, I cannot begin to explain what this support means to me. It still amazes me how many people are still requesting to join the page every week."
Colin Gillis, 18, was last seen in the early morning hours of March 10 walking on state Route 3 between the communities of Tupper Lake and Piercefield after leaving a party on Paskungameh Road. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds.
He was last seen wearing a white American Eagle V-neck shirt with black stripes and short sleeves, blue Levi's 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 and orange and black day pack.
Hunters or others who find any item Colin Gillis may have been wearing or carrying are asked to contact state police at 518-897-2000 or the DEC dispatch office in Ray Brook at 518-897-1300.
In the spring, DEC forest rangers, state police, local emergency response agencies and regional 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 about 10,000 person hours, actively searching for Gillis.
State police still have an open-missing person investigation for Gillis. The forest rangers' search for him is in a "limited continuous" status. That means they 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.