October 11, 2002

Search Turns to Gorge for Shetty

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Students walking across the Thurston Ave. yesterday afternoon bridge witnessed the uncommon sight of divers in the gorge below.

Students and others stopped to watch the investigation as they crossed the bridge separating North and Central campuses. Between about 3 and 5 p.m., the railings along the bridge were crowded with curious onlookers, according to one witness, Katri Stanley ’06.

Simeon Moss, deputy director of the Cornell University News Service, said that the divers were part of the larger search effort to locate Ritesh Shetty grad.

Shetty has been missing since Sept. 26, and to date, investigators have found no evidence to explain his mysterious disappearance. Yesterday’s search of the waters in the gorge was no exception to this trend.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, [the divers] didn’t find anything,” Moss said.

Police did manage to stir up a storm of curiosity and worry amongst passersby.

Stanley noted the sentiment among many was a fear that someone had jumped into the gorge below. Gradually, rumor spread that the divers were there to search for Shetty.

To Stanley, this revelation was not reassuring.

“Anytime you see someone looking for a dead body, it’s worrisome,” she said.

Captain Joseph Vitale of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office said last Friday that his office, in conjunction with the New York State Forest Rangers and the Cornell Police Department would continue to explore all possibilities in their search for Shetty.

“We’re not speculating…we are trying to keep our options open,” he said.

Yesterday’s efforts were an extension of this broader investigation, bringing police back to the site they had searched extensively on Oct. 1. However, this time, New York State Police divers scoured the areas that were inaccessible during previous search attempts, according to Moss.

Sara Workman also contributed to this story

Archived article by Michael Dickstein