Search for missing Olean man goes off the beaten path

Cattaraugus County

OLEAN, NY (WIVB) — Dozens of searchers combed the Allegheny Mountains near Olean on Tuesday in search of a young man with autism, who’s been missing for nine days.

“Please, if you see him, take a picture, I’m begging at this point,” said Steve Geise, who said it’s not unusual for his son Cole Geise to walk miles everyday, That’s what he liked most, but the fact that the autistic young man has not come home for nine nights in a row.

“Now, it’s more like starting to check the wooded areas and places like that because we don’t know if maybe he got lost, we don’t know if he was walking got turned around and was like okay where am I at,” said Steve Geise.

Much of the focus Tuesday was centered in Rock City Park . Even though it’s miles away from Cole’s home, his parents have taken him there and they wouldn’t be surprised if he finds his way back.

“Up on McDuffy Road, they found a footprint that we believe is his and it’s diagonal from Rock City Park and that’s why we’re searching here,” said his mother, Cassandra Geise.

Cole is 6′ 5″ tall and walks with a limp. He’s believed to be wearing a dark grey hoodie with the word ‘Echo’ on the front.

“He is approachable, but we don’t know what’s going on in his mind. So, I do remind people that he is autistic,” said Steve Geise. “If he does strike up a conversation with you, he might seem nervous, he may sway from side to side. But we are asking that if you do see him take a picture and follow him, call my personal cell or call Olean Police Department at (716) 376-5677.

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.

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