CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, NY (WKBW) - No news is becoming bad news as the search continues for 92 year old Thomas Hamilton, the hiker who went missing in Allegany State Park six days ago.
"Naturally everyone is discouraged we haven't located Mr. Hamilton, yet everyone is still optimistic," Sergeant Clyde Doty of the NYS Parks Police said Monday.
Hamilton was hiking with his daughter, Rebecca Huffman on Wednesday. They got lost and Rebecca left in search of help. Since then, search and rescue crews have been unable to locate her father.
"We've got roughly 92 searchers out today and they're continuing their Type 1 and 2 searches throughout the 4100 acres," Sgt. Doty said.
The latest development in the search came from Hamilton's daughter, who drew a rough sketch of a white structure she remembers as the last place she saw her father. New York State Park Police are requesting the public's assistance in finding this structure. If anyone is familiar with a 3 foot high white concrete structure that is 15-20 feet long and 6 feet wide, with an opening or entranceway with an inlayed mosiac floor is advised to contact the New York State Park Police at 716-354-9111. It is believed this structure was in the vicinity where Thomas Hamilton was last seen. It is located on a slope or hillside in a wooded area. Search crews have expanded their search area in light of the new information.
But despite nearly a week of fruitless searching, officials say they have not given up hope
"As far as the search crews, they're still motivated, still enthusiastic as they head out to their assigned grids, and they've been doing a great job," Sgt. Doty added.
And despite overnight temperatures below freezing in the State Park, and Sunday's rainfall that added to the difficulties of trying to survive a week in the elements, officials are still calling this a search and rescue operation.