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Missing East Haven Man: Search Continues at Hammonasset Beach

State EnCon Police, U.S. Coast Guard, Madison Police and firefighters searched on foot, with dogs, in the water and from the air Thursday, trying to find an East Haven man who left his car at the park late Wednesday and vanished.

Update at 7 a.m. on Friday

WTNH.com is reporting that the missing man has been identified by police as .

The report also says the search will resume at 7 a.m. on Friday and that the park will be open to the public on Friday.

East Haven Patch will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

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A man parked his car at the Meig's Point parking lot at Hammonasset Beach State Park late Wednesday and then vanished. Worried family members contacted authorities. A search on foot, with search and rescue dogs, in the water, and from the air took place Thursday from the state park, and from the Clinton town boat launch.

Hammonasset, the state's largest beach park, was closed around 12:30 p.m. Thursday due to the search. Numerous visitors to the park, some from as far away as Florida, Ohio, and Scotland, CT were turned away. Many expressed hope that the missing man would be found safely. 

The state of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection division of state Environmental Conservation (EnCon) police led the search, assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard, Madison Hose Co. No. 1, the Madison Police Department, the Clinton Police Department and emergency responders from numerous other towns from Old Saybrook to Branford.

As of 8:00 p.m. Thursday night, the missing person had not yet been found.

Update at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday

The state police have pulled their boats out of the water at the Clinton town boat launch. The exit gates to the park have been closed and the state of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection division of State Environmental Conservation (EnCon) police are guarding the entrance and exit.

EnCon police said they would continue the search as long as possible into the evening and night, until and unless conditions became too dangerous to search. 

There is no word yet as to whether the park will be open Friday, but emergency responders said Thursday evening a decision will be made by the morning.  

Update at 6:30 p.m. 

Several of the canine units are leaving the park, as darkness begins to fall.  

Update 6:15 p.m. 

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for the man reported missing at Hammonasset Beach State Park. 

The state of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection division of State Environmental Conservation Police plan to continue their search Thursday evening until conditions become too hazardous to continue, said EnCon Capt. Ryan Healy.

Original Story: 

Hammonasset Beach State Park was closed Thursday afternoon for an ongoing investigation. State police, along with police departments from Old Saybrook to Branford, were responding a report of a white man in his mid-50's who was missing.

Madison lacrosse practice, originally scheduled to be at Hammonasset, has been moved to town campus. 

EnCon Capt. Ryan Healy said that a car associated with the search was found at Meigs Point in the park. The search started around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, the park was closed when canine units, dive teams, and search planes were called in to help with the search. 

A police officer posted at the entrance of the park is telling visitors that the park is closed today and will not be open until Friday. 

A helicopter, which appeared to be from the state police, was flying over the beach area in a search pattern Thursday afternoon. A state police canine unit entered the park around 3:30 p.m., along with another state police cruiser. There were reports of canine units searching the park earlier as well. 

Madison Police were among the police departments responded to the park to assist DEEP with a missing person investigation. Emergency responders from Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Madison, Guilford and Branford were on the scene. The U.S. Coast Guard was assisting with the search as well. 

A state police spokesman said the park was closed around 12:30 p.m. to search for a missing person. The person is not believed to be a danger to others. "The person was reported missing to us by his family," the spokesman said. The missing person is a white male in his 50's. 

Around 3:20 p.m., Madison Hose Co. No. 1 was called in and were bringing the Zodiak Rescue Boat to assist with the search. Clinton police have also been called in to assist with the water search. Around 4:15 p.m., state police entered the park with an another boat to help with the search. Around 4:35 p.m. the state police boat left the park, along with another boat. 

Several state police cars were entering and exiting the park, as were other vehicles driven by people working in the park on unrelated business, including mosquito control. 

The Connecticut Canteen, which provides water, coffee, and food to emergency responders during emergencies at no charge, also came to the park. 

Bruce March 29, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Peep contest 97 comments, dog hit by car 7 comments, missing person 0 comments.Messed up priorities, priceless.
gailsewell March 30, 2013 at 12:33 AM
I pray this man is found safe and unharmed he is the brother of my close friend. Gail sewellmy prayers r with the lecza family
Jess March 30, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Absolutely, they are wonderful people and I pray he is found safe and sound. I am heartbroken.
George Kenyon March 31, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Has there been any news on this mans welfare?

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