According to Kim

Let the searching begin!

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New Jaliek search scheduled

At least 60 searchers will take to the fields and woods of southern Washington County on Saturday as police coordinate a new effort to find clues in the disappearance of 12-year-old Jaliek Rainwalker.

State forest rangers will coordinate the search by at least five-dozen rangers, firefighters and volunteers around the Greenwich area on Saturday.

Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said the effort will come after a two-day training that many of the volunteers will receive this week from forest rangers.

Bell said the 12-hour course — which began Tuesday — is offered by the rangers each year, but they decided to do it in Greenwich this year in light of the ongoing quest to find Jaliek.

“This is more of a hands-on, real-life training for them,” Bell said. “They’ll be out on Saturday at a number of areas we’ve been to before, and some new spots.”

A number of search efforts have already taken place in recent weeks in southern Washington County, as well as parts of Rensselaer County, along the route where Jaliek’s adopted father said he drove the boy the last night Jaliek was seen.

Salem resident Shane Armstrong took Forest Ranger Mike Bodnar down the Batten Kill on Monday in what turned out to be an unsuccessful check of the river, Bell said.

The founder of another volunteer search group, Texas Equusearch, plans to come to Greenwich on Monday to investigate how the group can help local police, the chief said.

Bell said police were also asking that residents of the area keep an eye out for clues that could be related to Jaliek’s disappearance.

With spring’s arrival, anglers, hunters, boaters and hikers who are heading outdoors are asked to be on the alert for potential evidence in the case.

Meanwhile, Jaliek’s smiling face greeted drivers Tuesday on Route 40 as two billboards were put up bearing his picture.

The billboards were arranged for by the Find Jaliek Task Force and put up just north of the Route 29 intersection in Greenwich and near Valley Falls Road in Easton in an effort to raise awareness. They include a photo of the boy and the phone number of the Cambridge-Greenwich Police Department, 692-9332.

Barbara Reeley, Jaliek’s maternal grandmother and a member of the Find Jaliek Task Force, said a fundraising bake sale and concert held over the weekend raised $1,100 — money that will be used to help pay for the billboard.

She said the money should guarantee that the billboards will stay up for at least two months.

Jaliek has been missing since Nov. 1. His adoptive father, Stephen Kerr, of West Rupert, Vt., has been identified as a “person of interest” by police.

Kerr told police he brought the boy to his father’s home on Hill Street, Greenwich, on the night of Nov. 1, and that he awoke the next morning to find the boy was gone. Kerr has said he believes Jaliek ran away.

Police, though, have said there are inconsistencies in Kerr’s story, and they have said he has not been cooperative. Kerr declined to take a lie detector test at least twice during the investigation.


Written by Kim

April 10, 2008 at 11:05 am

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