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Searchers take to air, water and land to look for missing Lake Placid man

August 15, 2012

LAKE PLACID - The search for 34-year-old Seth A. Kilburn picked up steam on Wednesday, with volunteers and law enforcement officials joining forces to check big swaths of land and water in and around Lake Placid.

Kilburn was last seen leaving Wiseguys bar on School Street around 1 a.m. Sunday. Village police have since received word that he was seen shortly after 1 a.m. on Sentinel Road near Lisa G's restaurant, walking in the direction of the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. He was reported missing by his parents, with whom he lives on Mill Pond Drive, early Monday morning.

Village police Chief Bill Moore said at this point, there's no reason to believe foul play is involved in Kilburn's disappearance.

Article Photos

Shawn Kilburn, right, and Lake Placid village police Chief Bill Moore, blue shirt, discuss search strategies around midday Wednesday as law-enforcement officials and volunteers search for Shawn’s cousin, Seth.
Photo/Chris Morris

Kilburn's cousin Shawn Kilburn said search parties took a break for dinner at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and then planned to continue looking for Seth until dark. Shawn spent most of the morning searching the Sentinel Road area, and in the afternoon he looked in secluded spots behind the Adirondack Community Church and the toboggan chute on Parkside Drive.

"We're trying to think of areas that nobody has covered yet," Shawn said.

One of Seth's friends, Nicole Lewis, said the search was intensifying by late afternoon Wednesday.

Fact Box

Seth A. Kilburn, 34, of Lake Placid, is a white male, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 195 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue and white striped polo shirt and tan or khaki colored shorts. He also wears glasses.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact police at 518-523-3306, or Tony and Celeste Kilburn at 518-523-9716.

"The major part was River Road," she said.

Moore and Lake Placid Fire Driver Matt Colby set up a command post at the firehouse Wednesday morning, where they met with about 25 firefighters and other volunteers at about 10 a.m. About 30 minutes later, a state police helicopter - with a state forest ranger in tow - began conducting low-flying searches of Mirror Lake, Mill Pond and River Road.

State Department of Environmental Conservation officers had three boats searching various waterways throughout the day, including the north side of Lake Placid, Mirror Lake and Mill Pond. Firefighters and volunteers led ground searches throughout the community.

Moore called the on-the-ground effort a "Type 1 search."

"It's kind of a loosely based search where you're going to be kind of walking around and yelling his name and just looking for him," the police chief said.

Moore said he felt fairly certain that Seth was last seen near Lisa G's. He had volunteers walk the length of Sentinel Road, starting at the restaurant and ending near the state Route 73 bridge. Other groups searched River Road, the Lake Placid Cemetery, the bridal trails between the Powerhouse Dam and Cascade Acres trailer park, and the trails from the Powerhouse Dam to the Lake Placid Club Golf Course.

"We still believe that he's in that area," Moore said. "Maybe it will turn out that he's not, but the highest probability, from what everybody explains to me, is that he's probably within a mile of his own residence. So we're going to go off that premise and where he was last seen, and work from there."

The water level of Power Pond, behind Lamb Lumber, was lowered Wednesday afternoon to give searchers better visibility, according to village Mayor Craig Randall.

Moore said Seth used to frequent a camp on River Road that was once owned by Larry Maxwell; that area has been searched as well.

Wednesday morning, Shawn Kilburn and another cousin, Marion Ward of South Glens Falls, walked the length of Sentinel Road, stopping occasionally to check out the backyards of empty houses and inspect wooded areas. One woman stopped Shawn to tell him she had checked out an abandoned house next to her house. She promised to keep an eye out and wished the family luck.

Shawn said his cousin's disappearance is out of character.

"He always calls his mom and dad, always told his mom and dad everything he's doing," he said. "If he's out of town somewhere, he always calls them up. He's never done anything like this, never."

Shawn said the Lake Placid community has been a tremendous help throughout the ordeal.

"Everybody has been out; everybody has been good," he said. "His friends have been out every day and night, getting back late at night. They've been everywhere."

Searchers will reconvene Thursday morning. Lewis said people should check in at the fire station before heading out.



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