The search for Cole Geise, a 22-year-old man with autism missing since May 2, enters its 10th day today.
Tuesday’s search, coordinated by Cole’s parents, Steve and Casandra Geise, centered on the wooded area around Rock City Park along Route 16 in the town of Allegany.
About two dozen friends and volunteers gathered in the parking lot outside the Rock City Park gift shop at about noon.
Casandra said she and her husband brought Cole to visit Rock City Park a couple of times in the past. A psychic described an area where they thought Cole could be found, which sounded like Rock City Park, she explained. They mentioned big rocks and a wooded area.
A footprint by nearby MacDuffy Road looked as if it turned toward the park, Casandra said.
More than 40 volunteers spent several hours searching at Rock City Park Monday night, owner Cindy Smith said Tuesday as volunteers began to set out again searching for Cole. She kept a list of volunteers who crossed off their names as they returned to the gift shop.
Before volunteers left the parking lot, Casandra told them about the area they were looking to search outside the park. She handed out water bottles, whistles, hand warmers and two-way radios.
She asked volunteers if they saw Cole to use a whistle or radio. Others who may see Cole are asked not to approach him, but to take a cellphone photo and call Olean Police at 376-5677 or 911. Follow him if possible.
“The community has really come together to search for Cole,” Casandra said.
As the group paired up and walked down the hill through the giant conglomerate rocks, all-terrain side-by-sides were revved up and the drivers searched along trails below the park.
Cole, who is about 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 215 pounds, has a number of different routes he walks on a daily basis. They include the River Road between Olean and Allegany as well as the Allegheny River Valley Trail through Gargoyle Park. His daily stops included both Country Fairs and the 7-Elevens. He told his mother he was expanding some of his walks.
He is believed to be wearing a gray ECKO hoodie and pajama pants or jeans.
Casandra said the Olean Police Department has been very helpful and she thanked Capt. Robert Blovsky, who is heading the investigation.
“The Olean Police Department did grid searches around Rock City Park (last) Tuesday,” Casandra said. “They may have searched on a day he was not in the area.”
Cole was last seen the night of May 1 by a man at Seneca Avenue and Dugan Road, Casandra said. He came home late that night and left between 6:30 and 7 a.m. May 2, a Sunday, without seeing any family members.
“Everyone saw him on his normal routes,” she said. When he didn’t come home by 10 p.m. Sunday, Casandra told her husband, “Something’s wrong.”
Olean Police, she said, “have been wonderful. They’ve tracked down every lead that comes along.”
Steve Geise is posting on Facebook where Search for Cole Geise has 4,800 members. Many people make suggestions on the Facebook page or offer to volunteer in the search.
A map at War Veterans Park, which serves as a headquarters for searchers, has pins stuck in it where searchers have been.
Blovsky, who is leading the search for the Olean Police Department, told the Olean Times Herald that police are following up on any leads they receive.
“If we had a good place to search, we’d be searching,” he said. “We are at the end of our rope.”
New York State Police will again search portions of the Allegheny River later in the week when the water level goes down, Blovsky said.
“We’re trying to help,” he added. “We’re still responding to calls.”
Volunteer fire departments have also aided in the search.
There are plans to search using a drone to fly over the area beginning today.
Also, Right Brothers Aviation of Chaffee has been asked to get involved in the search and state Sen. George Borrello has asked the Niagara Falls Air Force Base to aid the search.