Frozen river temporarily halts search for missing Schenectady girl Samantha Humphrey; Virtual vigil held

Three candles on a picnic table with a railroad bridge in the background

Candles illuminate a picnic table at the foot of Ingersoll Avenue in a virtual vigil 'Light the World' to commemorate what would be Samantha Humphrey's 15th birthday Wednesday

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SCHENECTADY — Schenectady Police efforts to search the Mohawk River in an attempt to recover missing 14-year-old Schenectady girl Samantha Humphrey have been temporarily halted due to the frozen condition of the river.

Meanwhile, supporters held a virtual vigil for Samantha Wednesday evening on her birthday. Vigil organizers asked that candles or lights be lit for Humphrey. Participants even left candles at a table at the foot of Ingersoll Avenue, near where she was last seen.

Vigil organizer Melisa Deland wrote on the event’s Facebook page of the response Thursday morning: “Seeing the overwhelming response last night made one thing very clear…. Samantha has an army of support. Family, friends and a community that care about her and will make sure she gets the justice that she deserves . We will never let Samantha be forgotten!”

On the search, city police Sgt. Patrick Irwin noted on Wednesday that the department has not conducted dive searches of the river this week in conjunction with state police due to ice, but added that the river search could resume next week if temperatures remain high and the ice dissipates.

Humphrey was last seen on Nov. 25 at approximately 11:30 p.m. in the area of Riverside Park in the Stockade neighborhood.
Irwin said on Wednesday that there are no new updates regarding the case.

In the aftermath of Humphrey’s disappearance, Schenectady police utilized a state police helicopter and dive teams to scour the river in a four-mile area from the Stockade neighborhood in Schenectady to the Rexford Bridge in Niskayuna.

The police department is seeking tips on the case on its non-emergency line at (518) 630-0911.

On Jan. 11, a submerged car was pulled out of the river after it was discovered by New York State Police dive teams near Riverside Park.

Police reported at the time of the discovery that the vehicle was not tied to the Humphrey case and further inspection of the car confirmed that it has been missing for decades.

“The vehicle was reported stolen in 1983 in the area of State Street and Robinson Street [in Schenectady],” Irwin said on Wednesday. “It’s unknown how long it’s been down there.”

Irwin said that there is no further investigation underway in connection with the vehicle fished out of the river.

Categories: News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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