George Richardson has literally vanished without a trace, and police and family have all but given up hope that he is alive.
Richardson, a Dix Hills executive, was vacationing in Montauk with his wife, Mary, and three sons ages 10 to 16. On August 28 police believe Richardson went for an early morning walk on the beach across the street from Hartman's Briney Breezes Motel, where the family was staying, as he had the other mornings during the vacation. He was wearing an orange "Montauk" baseball cap. The family later told police a pair of sandals and a red body board were unaccounted for.
Richardson, five-foot, six-inches with gray hair and a small scar on his chin, was the subject of intensive searches by local police and the Suffolk County K-9 unit, which scoured the entire oceanside in Montauk on several occasions.
Det. Sgt. Chris Anderson of the East Hampton Town Police said it is too early to declare the missing man dead. "The official determination takes some time," he said. "We're still carrying out more investigative work, but nothing fruitful."
The family has commented publicly only once, in late September in a statement released through East Hampton Town Police. "As you might imagine, this has been a very difficult time for our family," Mary Richardson said. "George is a loving husband, a caring father, a wonderful son and brother, a fun uncle, a great brother-in-law, special son-in-law, friend, and a valued co-worker. His disappearance has left a hole in the hearts of all those who love him. Our family is trying to help the children deal with a pain that no one can imagine and have made a conscious decision to do so out of the public eye."
Richardson was a scoutmaster, a practicing Catholic who went to church often, and a sailing enthusiast, though he sold his latest boat last year. He worked as a fundraiser at Huntington Hospital.
It was certainly hazy, probably foggy when Richardson went for his walk. Sunrise on August 28 was at 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 AM. Police said there were people on the beach, and one onlooker said he saw a man in the surf on a boogie board, though he could not identify him. Anderson said the police checked with the coast guard and weather services and deduced the current was probably sweeping out to sea at the time.