According to Kim

Perhaps a new direction in the Jaliek Rainwalker case

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Search for missing boy takes new tack

National experts and a fresh dog team will join effort to find Jaliek Rainwalker, missing since Nov. 1 

National experts and new search dogs will join the hunt for Jaliek Rainwalker, the 12-year-old boy from Washington County who has been missing for more than a month.

Investigators from the local police, the FBI, state troopers and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have followed leads throughout the Capital Region but found no sign of Rainwalker.

Speculation surfaced recently that Rainwalker might be in Albany with a gang, a lead police have followed to no avail.

On Thursday, searchers examined the screens inside a drained hydroelectric dam on the Batten Kill River near Middle Grove, downstream from where Rainwalker’s adoptive father, Stephen Kerr, last saw him.

Greenwich-Cambridge Police Chief George Bell said they looked at the dam because dogs trained to find dead bodies have repeatedly returned to the area. This weekend, a new set of dogs unfamiliar with the terrain will work the area that drew the attention of the previous dogs.

Bell would not comment on a news report in the Post-Star of Glens Falls newspaper that police are looking at Kerr’s cellphone records, calling the issue “sensitive.”

The search for Jaliek’s body has put police at odds with Kerr and Rainwalker’s adoptive mother, Jocelyn McDonald, who have said in published reports they believe the boy is alive.

“I know the parents aren’t happy, and I don’t want to get into a debate over what police believe vs. what they believe,” Bell said.

“There’s a $25,000 reward out there and no one has been able to claim it, what does that say in itself? If he’s with someone in Albany, so be it I just want to know he’s OK. But there’s been no leads to indicate that’s the case,” he said.

Kerr was the last person to see Jaliek on Nov. 1 after he picked him up at a home in Altamont where Rainwalker stayed when McDonald and Kerr needed a break from his emotional problems. McDonald’s mother, Barbara Reeley of Wynantskill, has said the couple were trying to undo Rainwalker’s adoption.

Elaine Person, Rainwalker’s respite care provider in Altamont, questions some of the statements McDonald and Kerr have made to the media. McDonald said she had dinner with Rainwalker on Oct. 27 but Person said that is not the case.

“He was with (my husband and me) Oct. 27. She wasn’t speaking to him. She wouldn’t let him in her house,” Person said.

Person said Rainwalker was happy and well-behaved at her house days before he disappeared.

Elaine and Tom Person are planning a forum in two weeks to update the community on Rainwalker’s case. She said she and her husband are haunted by regrets about what they might have done to prevent the boy’s disappearance.

“Jaliek was a beautiful, sweet, intelligent, generous and loving child with some behavior problems,” Person said.

Rainwalker’s photograph is on the online home page for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He is described as biracial, 5-feet-6-inches tall, and 105 pounds. He has green eyes, brown hair and a slight speech impediment. He pronounces “r” as “w.”

Anyone with information about Rainwalker or who may have seen him is asked to call 692-9332.

*Here are some additional links from the Post Star, one of which is mentioned in this article.

http://www.poststar.com/articles/20…al/13146841.txt

http://www.poststar.com/articles/20…d0792610310.txt

http://www.poststar.com/articles/20…al/13150491.txt

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Written by Kim

December 7, 2007 at 8:48 am

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