Friends still hopeful missing man alive
Published 9:34 pm, Thursday, June 13, 2013
NEW MILFORD -- Three days after Eric Langlois disappeared in Lovers Leap State Park, his family, friends and colleagues say they remain guardedly hopeful he will be found alive.
And while authorities temporarily suspended their search Thursday because of bad weather, several dozen volunteers continued combing the woods and waters of the state park, said Carla Ten Eyck.
Asked what has sustained them during the difficult time, she said, "Just not having any closure. Not knowing what happened. Just thinking someone like him -- with so much energy, so much humor, so much vitality -- of not being here anymore is just unfathomable."
"I can't even accept it," Ten Eyck, a friend and colleague who helped organize the search party, said by telephone Thursday. "I just keep picturing him sleeping under a tree."
Searchers were posting missing-persons posters bearing a photo of Langlois and his wife online on various social media sites, urging anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact New Milford police.
Authorities are puzzled about what happened to Langlois after he returned to the area Tuesday to retrieve his bike, which he had lost in a fall the previous day. His uncle, Peter Poulin, told The News-Times that his nephew "hit his head pretty hard" in a biking accident in the state park on Monday.
"We don't know where he is, if he is wandering around or if he fell in the water," Poulin said.
Despite the driving rain Thursday, volunteers continued their search for any sign of the father of two.
Among their ranks, were a number of fellow photographers.
The photography community in Connecticut is especially close knit, said Robert Norman, a family friend.
"A lot of us hang out. A few years ago, we all went to the casino for his wife's birthday," Norman said. "I think it says something about him that there are so many people out there trying to help."
Langlois and his wife, Amber, have a thriving wedding photography business, Raw Photo Design, in Danbury.
"It's so edgy and it's very fashion forward," Ten Eyck said. "There's no one else that shoots raw photos. They have their own niche in the industry."
Norman said that Amber Langlois "seems to be taking it as well as can be expected."
"I think a part of her had braced herself, although she's still being a bit hopeful," he said. "I think a part of her is trying to figure how to tell the kids, because you know, dad hasn't been home."
State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Dwayne Gardner said in a news release that the agency's Environmental Conservation Police, "along with members of the New Milford Fire and Police departments, Bridgewater Fire Department, Connecticut State Police, Newtown Underwater Search and Rescue, Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department and the Lake Lillinonah Association have been searching Lake Lillinonah and its shore since Tuesday evening after receiving a report of a man struggling in the water."
"The search was suspended due to darkness on Wednesday evening and is suspended today due to the inclement weather conditions. The search will resume when weather conditions improve," Gardner said. The search has been concentrated in a four-mile stretch of Lake Lillinonah.
Capt. Raul Camejo, of the EnCon Police, who is leading the search for Langlois, said Thursday there had been no developments in the case.
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