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Investigation into man’s disappearance continues

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Monday marked one year since Colin W. Gillis, Tupper Lake, was last seen, and although state police still are investigating the case, a top official says they don’t know where he may be.

Mr. Gillis, who now would be 19, was last seen by a motorist early on March 11, 2012, leaving a social gathering on Paskungameh Road in Tupper Lake and walking west near the St. Lawrence-Franklin county line in the Piercefield area.

“We’ve developed new leads, we’re revisiting old leads,” Lt. Scott K. Heggelke of the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation said Monday. “Do we know where Colin is right now? Unfortunately, no.”

Lt. Heggelke said investigators recently spoke with someone who had seen Mr. Gillis on the night he disappeared, but the lieutenant wouldn’t comment except to say there is “no information that has led us to make another organized search.”

Lt. Heggelke said that at this point, a break in the case could come from someone who saw Mr. Gillis and has not yet come forward, perhaps believing police have obtained similar information from other sources.

“If somebody saw something that night and they haven’t called it in, they should tell us,” Lt. Heggelke said. “Don’t make any assumptions that we have the information.”

He added that “investigators keep in continuous contact with the family” and that he spoke with Mr. Gillis’s father, John Gillis, on Monday. Lt. Heggelke declined to comment on the details of the conversation, and members of the Gillis family could not be reached for comment Monday.

Mr. Gillis’s brother Lyndon said last year that no one knows why Colin Gillis left the party or why he was walking west on Route 3 — the opposite direction from his home. “That’s the million-dollar question,” Lyndon Gillis said.

Since Mr. Gillis went missing, police, family, friends and strangers have searched thousand of acres, turning up some of his personal effects on Setting Pole Dam Road, Tupper Lake. More than 300 volunteers searched for days with the aid of state police helicopters and K-9 units, state forest rangers and members of Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks.

“This is never a closed case; it’s always an open case, and we will always investigate it,” Lt. Heggelke said.

The Gillis family is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to Colin Gillis’s safe return. Anyone with information about him or his current whereabouts can call state police in Ray Brook at 518-897-2000.

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