SARATOGA SPRINGS - Saratoga Springs police said Tuesday their discovery of a missing 19-year-old concludes their search, but not the investigation into what led him into a wooded area where he apparently fell into a creek and died.
At an afternoon press conference, authorities said they will investigate how Alexander Grant wound up nearly a mile from a Church Street residence where he was apparently partying with friends Saturday night.
Grant, a Boston College student who was in Saratoga Springs to visit friends at Skidmore College, was found late Tuesday morning submerged under ice in a creek north of Sunnyside Gardens.
The discovery came nearly 42 hours after two of Grant's friends reported to police they had not seen nor heard from him since he left a party on Church Street at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
Police said the friends were able to identify Grant as the man seen on surveillance footage kicking out a glass window at an office building on Care Lane at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday.
The tape, provided to police at about noon on Sunday, shows Grant disoriented, bleeding profusely and wearing only a long-sleeved T-shirt, a single sock and shorts, police said.
Grant spent roughly an hour inside the building, which is about a half-mile west of the Church Street home where police said they believe Grant had been attending a party. Police said Grant was likely drinking at the party, but they would not speculate about how much he may have consumed or if other drugs were involved.
Toxicology reports that would indicate what, if any, substances were in Grant's system aren't expected to be available for weeks.
"Because we're still doing our investigation, we're very limited as to what we can talk about," Saratoga Springs Police Chief Chris Cole said. "All I can say is that we have a deceased person, and our job is to find out what happened."
Cole said foul play is not suspected in the case, but investigators are interested in learning more about what happened to Grant between the time he left the Church Street party and when he was recorded by the security cameras at the office building.
Police also want to know who provided Grant with alcohol because misdemeanor charges could be filed against that person.
"This is obviously the ultimate consequence of what we believe is an alcohol overdose, so if there's someone who's contributed to that, they should be held responsible," Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy said.
Interviews with people who may have been at the party are ongoing, and police would not predict when the investigation will conclude.
Tuesday's discovery came after a full evening and day of search efforts that involved nearly 50 people and covered about 1,000 acres of undeveloped land between Church Street and Denton Road.
Police said they were drawn to the creek by faint footprints. They believe Grant could have inadvertently walked into the creek, known as Putnam Brook. The creek was about 4 feet deep where Grant was found, an area about 200 yards west of railroad tracks.
Family members, who arrived on Sunday from their home in Briarcliff Manor, Westchester County, were given the news Tuesday afternoon. They offered no public comment, but police described them as being in a state of shock.
"As a parent of a 19-year-old, my heart goes out to the family," said Cole, the police chief. "One can only imagine what is going through their minds right now."
Officials at Boston College, where Grant was a sophomore economics major, and at Skidmore College also offered statements of condolences on Tuesday.
Jack Dunn, a spokesman for Boston College, said the college community "is deeply saddened by the tragic news," and described Grant as a "gifted and popular student in his class."
"We mourn his passing and request prayers for him and his family as they deal with this tragic loss," Dunn said.
Susan Kress, acting president at Skidmore College, also said the campus community was "deeply saddened" by Grant's death.
"This is a grievous loss for two campus communities," she said.