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Tri-Lakes story of the year: the search for Colin Gillis

Colin W. Gillis, 18,  of Tupper Lake is considered a missing person. Anyone with more information about his whereabouts should contact Ray Brook Police at 897-2000.

Colin W. Gillis, 18, of Tupper Lake is considered a missing person. Anyone with more information about his whereabouts should contact Ray Brook Police at 897-2000.

— Since mid-March, residents of the Tri-Lakes area have been wondering where an 18-year old Tupper Lake resident vanished to.

Colin Gillis, who had returned home for a break from classes at SUNY Brockport, attended a March 10 party with friends in Piercefield. Gillis left that party around 1:45 a.m. Saturday, March 11, and has not been seen since.

The disappearance sparked a massive search effort from the Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Police, state missing persons organizations and the local volunteer fire departments and EMS squads.

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Patty, Lyndon and John Gillis talk to reporters at the Piercefield Highway department March 14.

Parents John and Patty Gillis, along with Colin’s brother, Lyndon, spoke with reporters assembled at the Piercefield Highway Department March 14, at that time the headquarters in the search.

“Colin, if you are out there, no one is going to be mad at you. Please get in touch and let us know that you are OK,” John said.

“Reach out to us and let us know that you're OK,” Patty added. “The bottom line is, we want you to come home.”

“I got the call Sunday afternoon, and I was here as soon as I could get here,” Lyndon said. “I was in the woods that evening and stayed there looking for him into Monday.”

John Gillis said that the last time he and Patty had seen their son was around 8:30 p.m. Saturday evening, when he left to go to a party.

“Patty and I had just had dinner with him,” John said. “He was pumped up about seeing his friends and joking about how this was the 2012 reunion. It was normal for him to go out and see friends. We were laughing and having a good time, like we always do with Colin.”

The family also took the chance to thank the Department of Environmental Conservation, State Police and local fire departments and volunteers for their work in searching for their son.

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