This story has been updated.
Following an arduous weeklong canvassing in and around the Amicalola Falls State Park area, the difficult decision has been made to suspend the active search for missing 21-year-old Sidiki “Prince” Kebe.
As of Friday afternoon, first responders are scaling back their efforts after not being able to find any clues that Kebe is still in the area, said Dawson County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Agency Director Danny Thompson.
Kebe’s case will stay open with the Dawson County Sheriff’s office as a missing person report.
People with any information on his whereabouts are encouraged to call DCSO's non-emergency number at (706) 344-3636. The case will remain open until Kebe is located. The young man’s last known location was the 3600 block of Ga. 52 on June 24. Kebe is about 5’9” and 170 lbs. with short, dark hair and braces. He was last seen wearing black shorts, a black shirt and flip-flops.
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“It’s a tough decision, and it weighs heavy on me. It’s the hardest thing I have to do for this job,” Chief Thompson said. “I’d rather have closure. It’s not that we’re giving up on it (the search). I always want to bring a loved one home to their families because it just gives them closure.”
Chief Thompson explained his rationale for the decision as a “matter of resources and available manpower,” explaining that Fire and EMS, DCSO and responders from more than a dozen state resources spent hundreds of hours canvassing over 1,000 acres by ground and with 10-12 K9s as well as by air, including the usage of drones.
Flyers were also posted throughout the state park area the first day to alert proximate hikers of the search efforts.
Thompson elaborated that he also had to take into consideration the safety of search team members, as several individuals were injured while examining the terrain for clues.
First responders’ more recent efforts included a nighttime search June 30 one mile in either direction of where Kebe’s car was found on Ga. 52, followed by another round the next morning using K9s, he added.
The canines were run until just before lunchtime on July 1, when the fire chief made the decision about the search.
Even with the challenging call, Thompson said they’re ready to help again if and when they're needed.
“If there’s something that leads to additional evidence to search this area, then obviously we can reconvene and begin a search to clear it at that time,” he said.