Units Pulled from Search for Snowmobiler Missing Since December Due to Visibility

Crews once again resumed the search for a 56-year-old snowmobiler who has been missing since December, then they pulled the units from the area because of a lack of visibility on Tuesday.

The search for John Dubois started around 6 p.m. on Dec. 16 after a snowmobile was found with no operator near the Pachaug Pond boat launch on Voluntown Road.

Officials believe Dubois went through the ice and officials said the search was deemed a recovery mission.

Tuesday DEEP EnCon and Connecticut State Police went back to Pachaug Pond and drilled a hole in the ice. State police have deployed a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that goes underwater to assist with the search.

Sgt. Jim Kane with EnCon Police said crews were waiting until the ice was at least six inches thick to resume their search. The last time crews were out was on Christmas Eve, he said.

But eventually, with so much snow cover, the area being too dark and covered in weeds, searchers called off their efforts on Tuesday because Kane said searchers only had about six inches of visibility.

"We had some still pictures taken from a drone the evening of the incident. We also had some still pictures of the next morning and we triangulated it in there and got the highest probability of where the hole in the ice was relative to where we found the machine," Kane said.

Dubois’ daughter, Jaqueline, said she just wants some closure. While she is glad police are searching for her dad, she’d love them to be out every week trying to find him.

Dubois did get to meet his first grandson, Bennett, who was born in November before he disappeared in December.

Jacqueline described her father as an "adrenaline junky." She said Dubois had just gotten that snowmobile and he had to try it out.

"I just want them to find him because everything is in limbo until then. It’s a really hard limbo. I grew up in this house, my parents got married in this house, and it’s really hard just staying here and looking out on the water knowing that he’s there," Jaqueline said.

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