The search for a 22-year-old Saranac Lake man is being scaled back about a week after he was reported missing by family members. Officials with the state Department of Environmental
Conservation said the search for Wesley Wamsganz has been switched to "limited continuous" status effective Sunday evening, Nov. 28. DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell said the decision was made after consulting with the young man's family.
Winchell said searchers were hampered Sunday by steep, rough terrain; cold, wet weather; and eight inches of fresh snow over the weekend.
Some 100 volunteers from the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams, as well as local volunteers, have assisted DEC forest rangers and State Police in the search for Wamsganz.
Captain John Streiff is a forest ranger with DEC in Ray Brook.
"We will continue searching for Mr. Wamsganz through local ranger patrols and training initiatives here in the High Peaks from his last known point, where we found the article of clothing last week," he said.
He explained witnesses saw Wamsganz on trails near Marcy Dam in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.
"Farther up the trail is where we located the Carhart Jacket, which was positively identified as being Mr. Wamsganz's - that's where we concentrated the search area, about a half mile out from there," Streiff said.
"We've covered the whole trail system in the majority of the High Peaks, as well as all of the lean-tos. It's been an intensive search and we're running out of places where we can search safely. We'll search more with aviation later this week if the weather cooperates."
Police said Wamsganz left his place of employment, the Downtown Diner on Main Street in Lake Placid, last Saturday afternoon before family members reported him missing.
Streiff said officials won't know why Wamsganz elected to head into the High Peaks, unless the young man is eventually located.