TUPPER LAKE After a month of no signs of a missing Tupper Lake teenager, family members are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the location or safe return of Colin W. Gillis.
Mr. Gillis was last seen after leaving a party walking along Route 3 toward Piercefield in the early hours of March 11. Since then police, family, friends and strangers have searched thousand of acres with very little to show for it.
The family hopes to rekindle the search with offer of a reward.
The reward, though, is not available to everyone. People who assisted in the disappearance of Mr. Gillis, who accidentally find him or those who work for a search and rescue organization are not eligible, according to the reward poster.
The reward is being offered by Robert Gillis and Barbara Bonneau, Colins aunt and uncle.
It was 30 days (Sunday), weve had no new leads. Were continuing to search and havent found anything and were hoping itll still shake some trees, so to speak, said Pattie Gillis, Colins mother.
Ms. Gillis said she wants to believe her son has left the area.
Were hoping hes on a beach somewhere, chilling out and having fun, because the other options not so pleasant, she said.
Though the investigation has been scaled back, a state police spokesman said helicopters are doing fly-overs whenever possible.
The investigation has not been taken outside the area, Lt. Scott Heggelke said.
He said small leads are coming in, but nothing with major value.
As to whether this reward will bring a break in the investigation, It cant hurt, Lt. Heggelke said.
The decision to post a reward was made by the family independent of the state police investigation.
Mr. Gilliss brother, Lyndon Gillis, said the there is still hope of finding him.
Its a living nightmare, he said.
Ms. Gillis said she doesnt want people to fear coming forward with information.
The big thing we want to get across is that nobodys going to be in any trouble, we just want Colin home, Ms. Gillis said.
Mr. Gillis is described as 6 feet tall, 170 pounds with a scar on his left shoulder.