Disappearance of Douglas Legg - Santanoni 1971
Posted in the Indian Lake Forum
#1 Jan 28, 2013
Author seeks anyone involved in subject search. Writing non-fiction, "A Boy Vanishes".
Either first person or family member or associate of someone involved, either professionally or as a volunteer. An important Adk mystery book in progress.
#2 Dec 22, 2013
When this happened I was working for Merchants National Bank in Syracuse, NY. The Melvin family had been one of the founders of the bank and the law firm of Melvin & Melvin was on the fifth floor of our building at 220 South Warren Street, Syracuse. So when the memo came out asking for volunteers to go to Newcomb the next weekend to assist in the search, I and another young gentleman from the Installment Loan Department packed our tents and gear and drove up there Friday afternoon. We participated in an intense grid search of several parts of wilderness until sometime Sunday afternoon. We were fed from the ladies that volunteered in the cafeteria of the Newcomb school on whose grounds we also pitched our tents.
We had high and positive hopes on Friday and left feeling extremely empty that Sunday. No team found so much as a sneaker! And to this day I sometimes dream about that search. Little Douglas and what may have happened to him still haunts me to this day.
#4 Aug 29, 2014
I just noticed your entry into this forum and apologize for not responding to you sooner! For a complete idea of my book, please see the following
A BOY VANISHES
AUTHOR’S FOREWORD portion...
July,1971 was hot, humid, with much rain in the mountains of upstate New York. On a stifling Saturday morning, a young woman of 26 was parked on an old logging road in the Essex County area of the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She hunched over the hood of her Jeep, studying topographical maps spread out there while awaiting the arrival of a troop unit of the New York State Army National Guard. The mission, for which she and other members of her sportsmen’s club had volunteered, at the request of then Governor Nelson Rockefeller, was to guide the Guardsmen into the inner reaches of the wilderness, searching for a missing 8 year old boy from a wealthy Syracuse family, lost a week earlier at his uncle’s private Santanoni Estate – property of over 13,000 acres and one of the few remaining Great Camps of the Adirondacks. This search was to be conducted through approximately 27,000 acres of mountains, some over 5,000 feet in elevation, forests ,lakes, ponds, swamps and streams, at an arms-length distance between the searchers. She knew of the estimated eight thousand others drawn into the search – many volunteers including Adirondack guides, hunters, fishermen, volunteer fire departments, the Adirondack Mountain Club, the ‘46’ers Club, the Sierra Madres Search and Rescue Team…and the list went on and on. She later learned of many more agencies officially involved – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, the Essex County Sheriff’s department, the NYS Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Army, the US Marines, the US Air Force from Plattsburgh, New York. who brought their heat-seeking aerial technology into play, the inmates and officials of several low security correctional facilities, among many others.
What transpired was the largest manhunt in the history of this awe-inspiring wilderness – all for naught. Douglas Legg, the missing boy, was never seen, heard from, nor his clothing or bones ever found. How the child could have remained missing under the onslaught of such an intensive scouring is the mystery which remains in the hearts and minds of many and which haunts this author even today.
One of three possibilities still remains – he either became lost and ultimately died in the woods; he ran away on his own accord; or he suffered at the hands of foul play. If he was lost, it is highly likely some trace would have been found long ago. If Douglas ran away, we must examine why he chose to do so, and consider the possibility that he is alive somewhere today. Foul play is also a serious consideration. The family was prominent and wealthy, yet no threatening communication or ransom demand was ever received. Little Douglas Legg was a victim and an innocent child.. Oddly enough, the case continues to remain open within the NYS Police and the FBI and sealed to the public, even after all this time,“because it violates the privacy of the parties involved”. Both were investigating agencies which still steadfastly refuse to release their files under the Freedom Of Information Act. This, in itself, is a very telling indication of a situation which went terribly wrong.
This author was the young woman described above. I have never forgotten that during the search, a helicopter flew overhead with a loudspeaker broadcasting,“Dougie….walk to a clearing so we can see you. Your mother loves and misses you”. Sorting through the facts and telling the story for Douglas Legg, the victim, who is unable to tell the story himself, is an honor and has become a welcome obligation.
Read the story and the facts carefully, sift through the testimony, eyewitness accounts and documentation, and reach your own conclusions.
Ken...I would appreciate your "take" on the family, particularly Myron Melvin, the uncle of Dougie, the missing boy.
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