Search for Guilderland man lost at Thacher Park continues

— Enterprise file photo

Complicated geography at John Boyd Thacher State Park makes the search for a missing hiker difficult, says Randy Simons, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

NEW SCOTLAND — The search for a 71-year-old Guilderland man lost in John Boyd Thacher State Park has entered its second week.

On Monday, Feb. 19, video footage places Bruce L. Decker inside the John Boyd Thacher State Park Visitor Center, according to Randy Simons, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

But it wasn’t until Wednesday, Feb. 21, that Decker’s car had been identified by park police, Simons said; the car had been parked overnight. He also said that it is unusual for a car to be parked overnight.

It was possible that the car could have been in the park as early as Monday, Simons said, but that was based on evidence found at Decker’s home; for example, backed-up mail. Simons said that investigators went to Decker’s home on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

No missing-person report had been filed for Decker, and when park police identified his car, no family member could be found to confirm that Decker was missing, said Simons.

The search for Decker began on Thursday, Feb. 22.

The complicated park geography makes the search difficult, Simons said. He also said that, the rescue teams believe there are more areas that should be searched.

In addition, teams will recheck some areas that are in a one-mile radius of Decker’s car, where the search first began. This is because it had snowed on Thursday, Feb. 22, and now that the snow has melted, there are certain areas in the one-mile radius that can be searched again.

Park police describe Decker as a white male; approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall with gray hair, and was last seen wearing gray pants, a black jacket, a gray plaid scarf, and dark boots.

Bruce L. Decker is listed by U.S. News and World Report as a doctor, practicing in Guilderland, who received his medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Anyone with information is urged to call park police at (518) 584-2004.

More New Scotland News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.