Hope Fades for Boy Missing in Upstate New York

Police say Jaliek Rainwalker's adopted father declined to take a polygraph.

Nov. 12, 2007 — -- The search for apparent runaway Jaliek Rainwalker in upstate New York has produced at least 150 leads, but no missing 12-year-old boy.

Rainwalker was last seen more than a week ago by his adopted father, Stephen Kerr, Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell told ABC News.

Kerr reported the boy missing Nov. 2 after finding him gone from his bed at his adopted grandfather's house. Rainwalker, who suffers from mental illness, had stuffed clothes and pillows under the sheets and left behind a note, Kerr told police.

"He was sorry for all he did and he wouldn't be a problem anymore," Bell said, describing the contents of the note, which appeared to be written in Rainwalker's handwriting. "He said, 'Goodbye.'"

The note could be construed as a runaway or suicide note, Bell said, but more than 10 days after the boy's disappearance, the chief fears that Rainwalker has fallen victim to someone or something.

"In 30 years, a kid of 12 years old, and I don't care what his mindset is, he doesn't fall off the face of the world," Bell said. "We just don't have a runaway kid here."

Rainwalker had been in and out of foster care seven times before he was officially adopted by Kerr and his wife, Jocelyn McDonald, when he was 5. He recently had gotten in trouble for threatening a student and was sent to a respite home in Altamont, N.Y. Witnesses have placed Rainwalker and Kerr at a restaurant the Thursday night before he was reported missing as the two drove back to Greenwich from Altamont.

The search has included dive teams, K-9 units and helicopters. The New York State police, local sheriff's office, forest rangers and search and rescue teams have all assisted the Cambridge-Greenwich police in the effort.

Bell said that both the grandfather's house, as well as the house where Kerr and McDonald live, were searched as potential crime scenes. Police are not calling anyone a suspect in the disappearance, but Bell added that, at this point, "I can't rule anything out."

He also said that police offered polygraph tests to both Kerr and McDonald -- an offer that only McDonald accepted. "We've offered to have both parents take the polygraphs and the mother has taken a polygraph," Bell said. "That's where I'll end it." The family, Bell added, conducted its own search for the boy.

A message left by ABC News with a woman who identified herself as Kerr's sister was not returned.

The search area is focused on a rugged wilderness area along the banks of the Batten Kill River. Authorities also questioned several religious groups in the area, including the Twelve Tribes in Cambridge, a religious farming community near Rainwalker's home.

Citizens have reported seeing Rainwalker as far away as Saratoga and Albany, N.Y. While each lead takes time to investigate, Bell said they will continue to follow up on what he described as "good intent calls."

Rainwalker is not currently taking any medications, but should not be considered a danger to approach, police said. He is described as a light-skinned black boy, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 105 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He may be wearing blue jeans and a yellow fleece.