JOSE ADOLFO SARAVIA was last seen on Sunday, his birthday, at 3 a.m. He was known for taking walks as far as Ellenville from his home at the Good Life Trailer Park in Liberty.
Missing Liberty man found dead yesterday
By Jeanne Sager
LIBERTY It was 3 a.m. on his birthday the last time anyone saw Jose Adolfo Saravia alive.
That was Sunday morning when Saravia’s mother went to bed in their Liberty home.
Thursday afternoon, he was found dead, floating in the Mongaup River just a quarter of a mile from home.
It was the culmination of a week-long search for the 35-year-old, one that ended with the sad discovery by Forestburgh fireman George Kaiser.
Working with the Wildland Search and Rescue group under the direction of New York State Forest Ranger Lt. David Mead, Kaiser was checking the area by the river mid-Thursday afternoon when he noticed something didn’t look right.
“Just the top of his head was visible,” said Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty. “There are leaves floating in this area of the river, and the water was very still.
“It’s very easy to look at the water and miss it,” Chaboty continued. “He did a good job.”
Police did not know how to treat Saravia’s disappearance when it was first reported late Sunday by his parents.
The Liberty resident had been known to go for long walks from the Good Life Trailer Park on Andrews Street, hoofing it as far as Ellenville.
But he’d never been gone for that long.
Chaboty said Saravia had a heated discussion with his parents and first his father then his mother retired to the bedroom.
When Saravia’s mother woke up at 7 a.m., he was gone.
He left behind his fishing tackle, his driver’s license and the medicine he took daily to control a seizure disorder brought on by a car accident a few years ago.
The Sheriff’s Office had assistance from the Liberty Fire Department, State Police and forest rangers in the search. They borrowed video surveillance from both local businesses and the Liberty Police Department’s Main Street cameras.
All week they searched a 1-mile radius all around the trailer park and sent a State Police helicopter into the sky.
They weren’t going to give up Saravia had walked to Ellenville or to Presidential Estates in Swan Lake in the past.
An avid fisherman, he was known to walk to Hanofee Park’s Sunset Lake (although the tackle left behind would indicate he wasn’t planning a fishing excursion).
Police don’t yet know how Saravia ended up in the river, when it happened or what role the water played in his death.
An autopsy is expected to be performed this weekend, and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office Tips Line at 807-0158.