SARANAC LAKE – The Saranac Lake Police Department is broadening its search for an Australian man who was last seen Dec. 31.
John Paul McKay, a soldier in the Australian Army, was last seen carrying a large backpack walking along railroad tracks between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid headed east, according to Saranac Lake Police.
McKay’s father in Australia reported him missing on Jan. 3 after he received an email from his son saying he was giving his father all of his possessions, according to a report in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
The search has been focused on the area between Ray Brook and Lake Placid, according to Saranac Lake Police Chief Bruce Nason, but they have sought help from as far away as the police in Elmira and the Adams County, Pa. sheriff’s office.
The Australian Army sent a representative to participate in the search effort.
Eight state DEC Forest Rangers were searching Thursday, Chief Nason said, including two in a state police helicopter.
Nason said the investigation by his officers found that, when he was last seen, McKay was wearing winter clothing and carried a backpack.
“This coupled with his military training and physical fitness make it likely that he is well prepared to survive on winter conditions,” Nason said in a press release Friday.
Anyone with information on McKay’s whereabouts is asked to call the Saranac Lake police at (518) 891-4428 or DEC dispatch at (518) 897-1300.