UPDATE: Police suspend search at Silver Lake in Pittsfield for missing teen believed to be despondent | Crime

PITTSFIELD — Police have ended their hours-long search of Silver Lake in downtown Pittsfield for a person who is dejected and may have entered the water.

Search and rescue teams closed the scene around 6 p.m. after searching for about five hours, according to Pittsfield Police Captain Gary Traversa. The case will now move on to a more traditional missing person case and expand outside of the Silver Lake scene.

Authorities had set up a command post and closed Silver Lake Boulevard to traffic around 1 p.m. Tuesday. A red inflatable boat carrying a search and rescue team was visible on the lake.

A Pittsfield police official has warned law enforcement is only responding to the possibility that a ‘missing or despondent’ person may be in the water, based on family reports , not solid information that the person, a 19-year-old male, was present.

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The Pittsfield Fire Department prepares to launch an inflatable rescue boat in Silver Lake.

The missing teenager was identified as Joshua Rodriguez by family at the scene.

A family member, Ganitza Williams, said she looked for him on Monday after he left his home, but couldn’t find him because of rain in the area and because it was too dark to keep looking. She is the great aunt of the deceased.


Ganitza Williams said she searched for her relative on Monday and Tuesday when she found something in Silver Lake that led her to call the police.

She started looking for him again on Tuesday morning and found something by the lake that belongs to him. This prompted her to call the police.

Williams said Rodriguez had recently received a troubling medical diagnosis and was struggling with doubts about whether he would regain his health, prompting him to have thoughts of harming himself.

Williams said Rodriguez was on medication that he was late for.

Mayor Linda Tyer arrived at the scene in the late afternoon and spoke with family members of the missing person.

A national police helicopter was seen flying over the area.

Family members gathered at the lake said they last spoke with Rodriguez at 3 p.m. Monday. They suggested the search focus on Silver Lake as the young man was known to spend time there.

Representatives from the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office and the Pittsfield Fire Department’s search and rescue team were also at the scene.

By mid-afternoon, a second boat had been launched and divers had entered the water.

This story will be updated.

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Brandon D. James