Twelve-year-old Jaliek Rainwalker has been missing for more than five months, but efforts to find him, or his remains, continue.
Today, a group of about 60 trained volunteer searchers will scour the Greenwich-Easton region of Washington County.
They will be led by state forest rangers who have been training the volunteers this past week.
“Our hope is, at the least, to find a piece of evidence,” said Elaine Person of the Find Jaliek Task Force.
Person said a piece of clothing, his hair-pick that has not been recovered, or anything that might indicate Rainwalker had been at a given location would be important.
Rainwalker spent some time at the respite home of Elaine and Tom Person of Altamont prior to his Nov. 1 disappearance.
The boy was reported missing by his adoptive father, Stephen Kerr, on Nov. 2 from 11 Hill St. in this village.
Chief George Bell of the Greenwich-Cambridge Police Department said Friday the state Department of Environmental Conservation usually conducts wild land search training at DEC facilities in Warrensburg and other locations.
Instead, the state forest rangers are giving this 12-hour training class to volunteers in Greenwich. The classroom sessions were held Tuesday and Wednesday and the field portion of the search will be held today starting about 8:30 a.m., rain or shine.
“We have three or four different areas where they will search,” Bell said.
He said the search teams will be working along the Battenkill River, at a golf course off Route 29 outside of Greenwich and near the Post 30 marker on Route 40 in the town of Easton.
A typewritten, anonymous note sent to news media earlier this year indicated that Jaliek was picked up at Post 30 in Easton and taken out of the area and is “okay.”
Police have not been able to identify the sender of the note, nor if there is any truth to the brief information in it.
Bell said there are also “two or three farms” in the Greenwich-Easton area that police would like to see searched.
And, he added, there is a wooded area behind K-Mart in the village of Greenwich that he would like to see searched more completely now that the snow is almost gone.
“The Hudson is at flood stage,” Bell said. He said searchers will check along the river banks.
He asked anyone who is fishing along the Hudson or Battenkill rivers or may live near the rivers to report anything unusual that may wash up or be seen floating down the river.
Police have pursued hundreds of leads in the case with no success. Kerr has been questioned by police and is described as a “person of interest,” but not a suspect.
State police, local police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and numerous other outside police agencies, fire departments and volunteer search units conducted an exhaustive search of the Greenwich area last fall without success.
The Find Jaliek Task Force, which includes former foster parents of Jaliek, his grandmother and other volunteers, was able to rent space on two large highway billboards in Greenwich. The billboards show a picture of Jaliek, note that he is missing, and list the number of the Greenwich-Cambridge Police Department (518-692-9332) for people who may have information about the boy’s disappearance.
Person said the task force was able to obtain a good price on renting the billboard space.
Person said other volunteer searches will be conducted in the coming weeks. One will be in the Waterford area along the Hudson River.
She said a group of about 25 people from the Waterford area have indicated they want to help look for the boy.
“There are so many people out there who want to help,” Person said. “He [Jaliek] has affected thousands and thousands of people.”
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Categories: Schenectady County