Schroon Lake The search for missing 15-year-old Cole Anauo has ended with him returning home on Monday, Aug. 19.
Anauo was classified a runaway.
Anauo’s parents contacted the New York State Police at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night and informed police he returned to their home on Davis Road in Schroon Lake in good health. Public Information Officer with the New York State Police Trooper Jennifer Fleishman said she couldn’t comment on where Anauo had gone or why he had run away.
The search for Anauo began on Saturday, Aug. 17, when the teen didn’t come home. According to police reports, Anauo had left home with a backpack and camping gear. Community members joined the Schroon Lake Fire department, Lewis and Schroon Lake-based New York State Police, Department of Environmental Conservation members and DEC Rangers searching near the Schroon Lake Airport off of Alder Meadow Road, where he was reportedly last seen.
According to a prepared statement released by State Police, Anauo left his residence at around 7 p.m. on Aug. 17, and was last seen on foot approximately five miles away on Alder Meadow Road on Sunday Aug. 18.
Fleishman said Anauo was classified a runaway because of the nature of how he left.
Because Anauo was listed as a runaway, DEC involvement was limited. A DEC Forest Ranger was assisting the Schroon Lake Fire Department with organizing the search effort and DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement had a K-9 unit with an officer who was assisting in the search, according to NYS DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino.
Lisa DeZalia, district clerk and secretary to the superintendent of Schroon Lake Central School said she joined the search effort Aug. 18, along with 60 to 70 other community members. The group combed the woods around the Schroon Lake Airport where Anauo was last seen.
DeZalia said word of the missing teen spread quickly through the small, tight-knit community.
“Everyone and their brother was out looking for him yesterday (Aug. 18),” DeZalia said.
Fleishman said Anauo is not facing penalties under penal law but the matter has been referred to Juvenile Services and Anauo could become enrolled in Person In Need of Supervision (PINS).