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September 12, 2012

Missing Man's Last Known Steps?


Investigators don't have any substantial leads as to the whereabouts of George Richardson, last seen in Montauk on August 28.

Richardson family members have not talked to the press, but sources said they have been completely cooperative with investigators.

The Richardson family stayed in a single room with a fully equipped kitchen at Hartman's Briney Breezes Motel.

Richardson had gone for an early morning stroll on the beach most days. On August 28, if he followed the same pattern as the other days, he left his motel room shortly after 6 AM, crossed Old Montauk Highway, and likely headed east to the nearest path to the ocean, about 100 feet away. The path winds down through heavy thicket to the beach.

He apparently didn't plan on being gone long – he left his wallet in the motel room.

It was certainly hazy, probably foggy. Sunrise on August 28 was 6:12, so it still wasn't full daylight. The tide was nearing its peak – high tide on August 28 in Montauk was at 6:40. In other words, the beach was at its narrowest. A K-9 unit had difficulty picking up his scent on the path, but police concede a lot of people use it during the season – the motels that line Old Montauk Highway are all filled to capacity, and guests typically spend nice days on the beach.

Richardson, according to friends, wasn't an avid swimmer. He had his familiar orange cap on, and probably shorts and a short sleeve shirt. He was wearing running shoes.

What happened on that beach – if indeed Richardson went down the path – is not known. Perhaps he was walking and was startled by a rogue wave and swept away. It wouldn't be unusual for remains to wash ashore in New England weeks or even months later.

It is possible Richardson encountered beach drivers. It was foggy, the surf was pounding, and there are frequently trucks on the beach.

Perhaps he broke from his routine and made an impetuous dive into the tempting surf and was swept away by a rip tide. The most likely theory is that Richardson drowned. According to police, there were others strolling on the beach, and one witness saw a man in the water sitting on a Boogie Board. It would have had to be a spontaneous decision to jump in the surf, but friends said Richardson seldom acted on the spur of the moment.

Check indyeastend.com for up to the minute developments.

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