Subscribe for 33¢ / day

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Search crews turned their attention to a snowy, wooded area near the Saratoga Springs-Greenfield border on Monday as they searched for a Westchester County man who went missing early Sunday morning.

Police said a group of around 50 officers, firemen and volunteers spent the day scouring a roughly 1,000-acre area between Church Street and Denton Road, using thermal imaging equipment, all-terrain vehicles, a helicopter, ground support and search dogs.

Despite the push, authorities said they found no signs of the missing person - 19-year-old Alexander Grant, of Briarcliff Manor - as of Monday evening, when the search was suspended due to darkness.

Searchers planned to resume their efforts Tuesday and would continue to look "until all reasonable options have been made," Saratoga Springs Lt. Greg Veitch said at an afternoon press conference.

Grant, a student at Boston College who graduated from Briarcliff High School in 2009, was in Saratoga Springs to visit friends at Skidmore College, police said.

He was last seen leaving a party on Church Street at around 11:15 p.m. Police would not give the address of the home or comment on its ownership but allowed that Grant may have been drinking Saturday night.

"The only assumption we're making is that we have a missing individual that we need to locate," Veitch said. "Everything else will come after that."

Authorities were alerted to Grant's disappearance at around 5 p.m. on Sunday by two of his friends.

The friends were able to identify Grant in surveillance footage given to police earlier in the day by the owners of a Care Lane office building who reported around noon that a front window had been smashed in early Sunday.

Authorities said the tape shows Grant, wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt, shorts and a single sock, entering the building at around 1:15 am. and then leaving the building around an hour later.

Nothing was stolen from the building, and Grant may have broken in to get warm, police said.

Police said there was a "large amount" of blood at the scene when they visited on Sunday, but that they could not find a trail because of the rain.

Police did find Grant's pants and identification near the building on Sunday night, however.

The search efforts that resumed on Monday focused on the area northwest of the Care Lane building, from Sunnyside Gardens north along the railroad tracks to Denton Road.

Police said they were looking at that area because they found footprints there on Sunday night but had to suspend their search because of the deteriorating weather conditions. The search was suspended at around 11:30 p.m., police said.

Searchers described the terrain they were searching as treacherous, particularly given the weather over the last few days.

"You get into the woods and the snow is up above your knees," said John Solan, a zone supervisor with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that is involved in the search.

Solan declined to speculate about whether he believed Grant could have survived the night outdoors.

Officials said they have been in contact with Grant's family, and that family members said they have not heard from him. Efforts to locate Grant by using his cell phone have also been unsuccessful.

Police said there is a possibility Grant fled the area, though his car has been located in Saratoga Springs. Police also said foul play is a possibility.

"We haven't ruled anything in or out right now," Veitch said. "But right now, we're still in missing persons mode."

Family members could not be reached for comment on Monday, but James Kaishian, principal at Briarcliff, described Grant as a bright and engaged student who participated in sports and music.

"He was a wonderful student while he was here," Kaishian said.

Grant is 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds and has brown eyes. Police are asking anyone who may have seen or heard from him to call 584-1800.


Load comments