Steven Paul Thomas

Above: Steven circa, 1976


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: April 12, 1976

Missing From: Remsen, Oneida County, New York

Classification: Lost, Injured Missing

Date Of Birth: circa, 1957

Age: 19 years old

Height and Weight: 7’2″ and 190 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: White Male, Brown hair, Brown eyes, Stevens hair was long at the time of his disappearance, his nickname was “Steve”

Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue parka, a t-shirt, white underwear, faded blue jeans, a brown leather belt, yellow slicker and boots, Steven was last known to be wearing yellow rubber gloves


Details of Disappearance

Steven was last seen in Remsen, New York on April 12th 1976. He was last seen by his 5 companions; T. Mark Seymour, James Thackaberry, Ken Sherwood, Robert Bromley and Bruce Weaver. They were all hiking up Mount Marcy, attempting to reach the summit of the mountain.

They climbed until they were approximately 2 miles away from the summit at a lean-on. The group decided to stop here and build camp and fires to keep warm. The area had temperatures of 10 degrees and it was quite windy that day, the snow on the ground was hard enough to walk on. At 3:30 pm, Thomas drank some tea before he said he was going to walk on the trail. His companions initially believed that he was simply walking to see how much longer they had until they would reach the summit. They weren’t concerned until it started to get dark.

By the time dark had reached, Steve had not returned and winds of up to 60 MPH started and snow came down hard. Some people from the group set out with flashlights in search of Steve. When they couldn’t find him and the weather became to hard to look through, they returned to the campsite and waited until the next morning.

The group set out the next morning in search of Steve, they did not get a ranger because it would take hours to hike for one and they believed that since Steve didn’t have much winter gear on, he was in critical danger. They searched for him right away. The group split up and searched the summit and surrounding trails for him. The snow was concret hard and they could not find any footprints of his.

At 3 pm, three of the teenagers from the group hiked to seek help from authorities. They went to a police station and reported Steven as missing. Searchers reaches the area by the morning of April 14th and afterwards, one of the most extensive searches ever conducted on Mount Marcy occurred.

Despite a rise in temperature to 83 degrees, no sign of Steve or his body was ever found.

Various theories regarding Steve’s fate have come to investigators minds over the years. One was that Thomas had fallen into a gorge and broke his leg or became injured in general. He might have also stepped off the trail and into a spruce trap which is a deep cavity in the earth hidden by snow. At the elevation that Thomas was in, the snow is deep enough to where it covers tree tops, hikers can unknowingly step into this and fall 15 feet under the snow and became entangled in branches. If the snow were to fall on them before they climbed out, searchers would not be able to locate them.

After two weeks of searching the mountain, some came to the possibility that Steve simply walked down the Hopkins Trail and passed his companions. He could have gone to Route 73 and hitchhiked his way to another town with a new name.

Investigators and his family do not believe he left on his own accord, he was close to his family and grandparents at the time and would never hurt them by doing so. He would have been open about moving if he had any plans to do so.

Despite the belief that Steven was dead, his family continued to search for him in the Mountains. In July of 1976, they found a sleeping bag, a pair of boots, a shotgun, and the skeletal remains of a male in his late teens or early 20s. The body was identified as missing camper, George Atkinson. He disappeared while camping in the area in March of 1973.

Steven remains missing. His family hopes to find and recover his remains. He is presumed to have gotten lost and perished in the mountains.


Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: 

New York State Police 518-897-2000


Source Information

The Doe Network

NamUs

StrangeOutDoors

The Baltimore Sun