A Fair Haven, Vt., man who was walking back to a car from a Granville bar after a fight has been missing since early Saturday, resulting in a massive search of an area of Granville and western Vermont over the past two days.
Jonathan M. Schaff, 23, was last seen around 4:30 a.m. after an altercation at Riverside Pub on Main Street in Granville, according to Granville Police. He was reported missing late Saturday afternoon.
Dozens of searchers from New York and New England returned to an area along the state line that is dotted with slate quarries and streams, looking for clues as to where Schaff has gone. The search expanded to an area north along county Route 25 and Vermont Route 31 later Monday, after cell phone data potentially placed his phone further north, police said. It was unclear what the time frame was for the phone data, however.
The search was called off for the day at dusk Monday, and was to resume Tuesday morning.
Granville Police said Schaff suffered a cut to his head and his glasses were broken during the fight. He was not believed to have been seriously injured. No arrests were reported by police in connection with the fight. Police said he had been drinking, but it was unclear whether he was intoxicated, police said.
He was last seen walking east on Main Street, wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt, brown Carhartt jacket and blue jeans.
Police said Schaff and two friends had parked a car at Loomis Trucking, near the state line, and walked a half-mile or so to the Granville bar.
As they were later returning to the car, two of the group stopped for a cigarette break along the road and Schaff continued walking, Granville Police Chief Ernie Bassett said.
It appears they were over the Vermont line when they stopped.
“There’s a dip in the road and they lost sight of him. When they got to the car he was not there and they couldn’t find him,” Bassett said.
Cellphone data had placed his phone in the area of Bullfrog Hollow Road just east of the New York state line off Route 149 in Pawlet, Vt., which resulted in the search being concentrated there. But Bassett said subsequent information led to the expansion of the search north of the village of Granville.
Bassett and Vermont State Police Capt. Don Patch said it was unclear why the men parked in Vermont and walked to the Granville bar.
Police from Granville and Vermont as well as numerous fire companies have been searching for Schaff since Sunday morning, checking farm fields, stone quarries and along the rivers and streams in the area. A police command post was established at the Wells, Vt., town hall.
“What we’ve been doing is concentrating on the area where he was last seen,” Patch said.
The Mettawee River is near where he was last seen, leading to concerns he might have fallen in.
On Monday morning, about 25 searchers from two New England search and rescue teams were looking for him on the Vermont side, and more than a dozen Granville firefighters were involved in the search in New York.
Granville Police Sgt. David Williams said there were plans to continue searching Tuesday in the area of the Granville-Wells towns lines where Monday afternoon's search was concentrated.
"We're going to expand the search area and keep going until we find something," he said.
Patch said Vermont State Police detectives were involved, and there was no indication of any foul play Monday.
Schaff was described as a white male, about 6 feet tall and 170 pounds with blue eyes and brown hair.
Anyone with information in the case was asked to call Granville Police at 642-1414 or Vermont State Police at 802-773-9101.