UPDATE 9:29 p.m. — Ithaca police say a body has been recovered in the Ithaca Falls gorge after about five hours of searching Saturday.

Police have identified the victim as Winston Perez-Ventura. No further details are being released, police say.

Perez-Ventura was recovered in the gorge by the New York State dive team at about 7:20 p.m., according to a news release.

According to earlier reports, Perez-Ventura had entered the gorge to swim, but did not resurface.

Earlier —

Update 7:38 p.m. — Emergency crews are continuing the search for a missing swimmer at Ithaca Falls.

At about 2:33 p.m., Ithaca police and firefighters responded to Ithaca Falls near Fall Creek Drive for a report of a person who had entered the gorge to swim, but had not resurfaced.

Officers from the Ithaca Police Department and Cornell University Police Department and Ithaca Fire Department have been searching the waterways in the area.

New York State Police, including a state police helicopter and dive team are assisting in the search.

As of about 7:30 p.m., the missing person has not been located, according to a news release from the Ithaca Police Department. Crews are continuing to search the gorges and waterways. No foul play is suspected, police said.

In a news release, Acting Chief Pete Tyler said “The Ithaca gorges are so, so beautiful but they can be very dangerous if folks don’t obey the posted signs. I encourage everyone to please, please follow the posted signs on the gorge trails, especially those that prohibit trespassing and swimming. The signs are in place for no other reason than to keep folks safe when they enter our gorges.”

Earlier —

Update 6:28 p.m. — The Ithaca Fire Department has indicated that crews are in the area above Ithaca Falls looking for a missing swimmer.

The area is primarily accessible through Ezra’s Tunnel, an area Common Council has recently discussed gating off for safety reasons.

Earlier —

ITHACA, N.Y. — Police, fire officials and helicopters are searching for a missing person Saturday afternoon in Ithaca.

Officials were called to the 200 block of Fall Creek Drive around 2:33 p.m. after a male was reported missing, a Tompkins County 911 dispatcher said. No description has been released about the missing person.

Ithaca police, the Ithaca Fire Department Bang Ambulance and at least one helicopter from the New York State Police are still searching for the person as of 4:30 p.m.

The dispatcher clarified, “I have no reports of anybody jumping (from the nearby bridge.)”

He said the search is currently a missing person search and that police would likely be releasing more information today.

Featured image: A helicopter flies over Fall Creek near Ithaca High School Saturday afternoon searching for a missing person. Photo courtesy of Simon Wheeler/ Simon Wheeler Photography

This is a developing story. 

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.