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Divers search Battenkill for Jaliek Rainwalker

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Albany/HV: Divers search Battenkill for Jaliek Rainwalker
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November 1, 2010 will mark the third anniversary of the disappearance of Jaliek Rainwalker, the Greenwich boy who police are still unable to find. On Thursday, a State Police dive team searched a new area of the Battenkill, but their efforts turned up empty. Our Matt Hunter reports.

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- After almost three years and very little progress, it goes without saying police have grown frustrated with their search for Jaliek Rainwalker, the Greenwich boy first reported missing in November 2007, when he was 12.

"I was hoping by now that somebody would have stumbled across something that would have shed some light on this case, but it hasn't happened," Cambridge/Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said.

On Thursday, a New York State Police Dive team searched a dangerous section of the Battenkill known as the Hell Hole, in hopes of finally locating his remains.

"We've known about this spot in the river called the Hell Hole since day one," Bell said. "We've made some attempts before to get in there, but the current and the conditions just weren't safe enough to dive in."

Bell said the section of the river gets its name because of heavy rapids and a high volume of rocks and debris at the bottom. In past years, the water level has been simply too high to risk diving in.

In March, police released an age-progressed photo of Jaliek -- estimating what he would look like now -- but that's done little to produce solid leads.

Not helping matters is the fact Jaliek's adoptive Steven Kerr stopped participating with the investigation almost two years ago. Bell still views him as the primary person of interest.

"He's welcome 24/7," Bell said of Kerr. "If they want to open up communication, but I don't think that's going to happen. I still to this day don't understand it. If they have nothing to hide, they don't need to hide behind an attorney. Come see me one-on-one and we'll talk about the case, simple as that."

Bell said police will resume their search in the coming weeks but now feel confident Jaliek's body is not in the Battenkill.

Asked if and when police will finally call it quits on the search, he replied, "When we find Jaliek."

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