Hope Fades for Boy Missing in Upstate New York

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

ByABC News
February 18, 2009, 11:16 PM

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."