Vt., NY police resume search for man missing since January - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt., NY police resume search for man missing since January

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Jonathan Schaff Jonathan Schaff

Jonathan Schaff of Granville, New York, has been missing for more than three months and multiple agencies are taking advantage of what they say is a small window of optimal weather conditions in order to continue to look.

Multiple agencies, divers, special teams and canine units searched the banks of the Mettawee River along the New York/Vermont border Tuesday. Schaff was 23 when he went missing. That was almost four months ago and officials' outlook is dismal after all this time.

"I guess you always hope not but -- uh certainly if we're finding him in this search -- most likely would be deceased," N.Y. State Police Capt. Scott Coburn said.

Schaff went missing during the early morning hours of Jan. 18. Throughout the investigation, officials learned he was reportedly involved in a physical altercation at the Riverside Pub in Granville. After reportedly breaking his glasses and sustaining a head injury, he was last seen walking east on State Route 149.

"Not knowing necessarily where this subject last was --whether he was in Granville, or in this location-- it just creates issues where it's a multi-agency group to make the search and conduct the search," Coburn said.

The rough winter also made the search challenging.

"We had severe ice and snow this winter and we tried to work through that, then the floods came, with the water in the river--they've subsided--so we're out here again to try to continue the search," said Det. Lt. Kevin Lane from the Vermont State Police.

Officials took advantage of the mild and sunny conditions Tuesday and the increased manpower.

"We used the recruits from the State Police Academy to assist us in ground search," said Coburn.

Officials explained that adding the 27 recruits was in order to get as many bodies as available out to assist. After, investigators say Schaff's cellphone pings were followed and the phone was found in a truck. The search has remained along the river when the weather conditions allow.

Officials told WCAX News that they are using some very sophisticated techniques to try to find Schaff. One of only four cadaver dogs in New England is being used. The dog is trained to be on the water and search for a body. Officials say the investigation will continue.

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