A Buchanan family found their missing 18-year-old family member dead in a local pond off Albany Post Road around 8:15 this morning, New York State Police report.
The 18-year-old Buchanan resident, Santiago Mendia, went missing at approximately 9:20 p.m. Saturday, July 14 after an alleged dispute outside the J.D. Latin American Restaurant in Montrose, State Police Investigator Sean Morgan said.
Police believe he wandered off into the woods and ended up falling into the heavily vegetated pond behind the Hendrick Hudson School District Bus Depot off Lake Street and Old Albany Post Road.
“It would have been dark out and it is a heavily wooded area and he could have stumbled and tripped before he realized he was in the water,” Morgan said.
Police believe the drowning was an accident and do not suspect foul play at this point, but believe alcohol may have been involved. They will not know until toxicology reports, which could take weeks, are returned.
Mendia’s family reported him missing to Buchanan Police Saturday night and state police took over the investigation once it was learned he disappeared on the Buchanan, Cortlandt town line. The state police search began around 12:33 p.m. Sunday and was suspended during last night’s heavy thunderstorms. The search resumed this morning and involved k9 units, an aviation helicopter and troopers on foot, this morning. The Buchanan Police Department assisted.
Morgan estimates that the pond is about eight to 10 feet deep and about 100 by 100 feet wide. The only access to the pond is through the woods on property that is owned by Con Edison, Morgan said.