Bruce Decker's car parked at the Paint Mine parking lot. (Photo by Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
NEW SCOTLAND – The search of Thacher Park for a missing 71-year-old Guilderland man is being scaled back to “limited-continuous,” with an eye towards additional field searches once the snow melts, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Bruce Decker went missing on Feb. 19, when it is believed he parked his car near the Paint Mine hiking trails.
There was not a missing person’s report filed and Decker was familiar with the park’s some 25 miles of hiking trails.
The search began on Feb. 22 and by March 2, six state agencies – including 40 members of the Department of Correctional and Community Services Emergency Response Team, Albany County Sheriff’s Department, eight Albany Count fire departments and 12 volunteer search and rescue teams – contributed 4,487 hours to the search.
The search operations included 2,442 acres of intensive searching, 502 acres of extensive searching, 56.7 miles of trails, 355 acres of
drone searching and 4.5 square miles were searched by a State Police helicopter.
K9 units and drones were also used.
No trace of Decker was found and the continuous field search concluded on March 1 after a Nor’easter dumped nearly two feet of snow on the park. More snow is expected later this week.