CANAJOHARIE — More than a month has passed since 41-year-old Kevin White was last seen crossing the Palatine Bridge.
His sister Nicole Frederick isn’t optimistic about her baby brother’s condition. Dissatisfied with the progress of local police, she pursued a private investigation in an attempt to uncover White’s whereabouts.
White — lacking access to a car, social media and cell phone service — was last captured on two video surveillance systems at 5:39 p.m. on Jan. 12. The disappearance was reported to Canajoharie police four days later, according to village agency Chief Bryan McFadden.
The missing Canajoharie man has been associated with some suspicious characters interested in money and drugs, the sister reported. Nicole Frederick believes that White was abducted by a familiar person and is “strongly” convinced that any event after that point likely resulted in death.
With a limited camera view of the bridge, the chief, as of last week, didn’t rule out a vehicle kidnapping or descent into the Mohawk River, albeit a “not easy” task on the pedestrian bridge. Nobody interviewed by police has reported witnessing White at the moment of his disappearance.
Canajoharie police led a 24-person search team earlier this month along the Mohawk River and adjacent wetlands. Members of the small department have scanned the village streets, both on foot and with the assistance of drone technology.
Authorities from Montgomery County, Fulton County, Schoharie County, St. Johnsville, Fort Plain, Amsterdam, Gloversville, Johnstown, Schenectady, Albany and the state have also assisted in the probe. There’s since been unconfirmed sightings in Albany, Johnstown and Altamont, none of which have yet proved fruitful to the case.
“We normally find them by now,” McFadden said last week, of past search efforts in the municipality. “It doesn’t matter what my efforts are. I could move heaven and earth and unless I find him, I’m still unsuccessful.”
A change.org petition, backed by Nicole Frederick and father Brian Frederick, was launched Saturday demanding Canajoharie police to hand off the official probe to state authorities. The petition had 119 electronic signatures and counting, as of Sunday.
“There is no good reason that they shouldn’t do this, as this is my son, and should respect my request, and if not, do not understand why they wouldn’t,” Brian Frederick wrote in a Facebook post over the weekend.
McFadden, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, as of Sunday, has previously said that he’s been “working the program” by focusing on both recovering and attempting to find a means of communicating with the missing man.
White is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs around 185 pounds. He was last seen on footage with reddish brown hair and a beard. Tips related to the case can be sent to the Canajoharie Police Department at 518-673-3111, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at 518-853-5500 or state police at 518-783-3211.
OTHER AREA MISSING PERSONS
Meanwhile, in Schenectady, authorities still haven’t yet found Samantha Humphrey, a 14-year-old girl who went missing on Nov. 25 in the Stockade District. Possible leads on Humphrey can be sent to Schenectady police at 518-630-0911.
The greater Capital Region has experienced a number of unsolved missing person cases over the years, including the controversial 2007 disappearance of Jaliek Rainwalker in Washington County and the 1998 disappearance of Suzanne Lyall in Albany County. The FBI ultimately got involved with both cases.
Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3749 or tmcneil@dailygazette. Follow him on Twitter @TylerAMcNeil