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Forest rangers search for man near St. Regis Mountain (updated)

Hiker identified as Fort Drum soldier

September 3, 2017
By ANTONIO OLIVERO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

PAUL SMITHS - A 40-year-old soldier from Fort Drum has been lost in the vicinity of St. Regis Mountain for more than a day.

Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers said Sunday evening their search efforts to locate the man, Richard Guinan, will continue into Monday morning. It'll near 48 hours since Guinan last spoke to someone outside the woods.

Speaking from DEC search headquarters at the Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department, Forest Ranger Lt. Gary Friedrich said the last communication received from Guinan was a phone call to his wife at 11 a.m. Saturday after he reached the mountain's 2,874-foot summit around 9 a.m. Saturday.

Article Photos

State Department of Environmental Conservation vehicles are parked at the Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department Sunday afternoon when forest rangers were in the midst of a search for a missing man near St. Regis Mountain. No more information was available at the time.
(News photo -- Justin A. Levine)

Friedrich said Guinan told her during that phone call his cellphone would soon be without power and he would be late returning from the mountain, though not to worry.

Friedrich added that DEC has not been informed of any medical conditions or extenuating circumstances that may have led to Guinan becoming lost. He described the search area surrounding St. Regis, one of the popular Saranac Lake 6er mountains, as bordered to the east by Keese Mill Road, to the west and south by significant bodies of water and otherwise bordered by a road and a private property with a well-maintained boundary line being Bay Pond.

"So we feel he's still in that box," Friedrich said. "If he had come to any one of those places, he's not going to walk out of it."

"It's not a missing person; it's a lost hiker," the lieutenant added. "We have a general area that we are working on searching."

Forest rangers were first alerted to the missing Guinan at 8 p.m. Saturday when his wife contacted DEC, Friedrich said.

Initial search efforts Saturday night consisted of four forest rangers before 20 more were sent out on several assignments Sunday. Friedrich said search efforts Monday will continue with 20 forest rangers after a 7 a.m. briefing.

An undetermined amount of trained volunteers from the Saranac Lake-based Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks organization will join Monday, as will 30 soldiers from Fort Drum who offered up their services, according to Friedrich.

"We are taking them right now because obviously they are trained to function," Friedrich said. "They are self-contained in that they have a basic understanding of operating in the field."

Forest rangers are not currently asking for help from the public to locate Guinan.

The multi-day search comes during a busy holiday weekend of hiking when forest rangers located elsewhere in Adirondack wilderness areas were called to Paul Smiths to help with the search.

"We've got a ton of people here," Friedrich said. "We had to call people. We actually had a rescue on Cascade (Mountain) that we had to pull people from further south to handle. So we've stretched out numbers here thin."

Friedrich said the rescue on Cascade, of a hiker with a broken leg, was resolved as of Sunday evening.

The lieutenant added that the official DEC trail leading to the summit of St. Regis Mountain remained open to the public on Sunday.



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