Police Call Off Active Search for Comic Book Artist Norman Lee Missing in the Cayman Islands
By Russ Burlingame
Authorities in the Cayman Islands have given up on their active search for missing comic book artist Norman Lee, who disappeared on vacation earlier this week while snorkeling near his hotel.
“We put all assets available to us, both law enforcement and privately owned," Police Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks said. "We thank all those who assisted us in this time of need. Unfortunately we were unable to find or recover Mr. Lee.”
A statement published via Cayman 27 said that “The currents in that area are strong and it is unlikely that we will make any recovery at this stage.”
While we had previously reported on a rescue mission based on a report out of ABC in Boston, the
Cayman 27 report indicates that by the time Lee's disappearance started to be widely reported in the comics industry on Friday and Saturday, the rescue effort had already been reclassified as search and recovery.
Marine enforcement vessels remain in the area at last reporting, and while the search has officially been stood down, authorities are still encouraging those in the area to report any sightings of interest. An NECN report indicates that Norman Lee's wife has left the island.
Authorities said Norman Lee was swimming near the eastern coast of Grand Cayman when he became separated from his wife last Thursday.
According to MyFoxBoston.com, search crews have been looking for Lee. Volunteer divers have been helping with the search amid heavy currents.
Police said Lee was last seen about 250 yards from the coast while still snorkeling.
Lee is a Weymouth native and was on the fencing team at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
He began working on the Wolverine Annual for Marvel Comics in the late 1990s and most recently worked on other titles including Avengers and X-Men. He also illustrated works including Supergirl and Starman for DC Comics.
"Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time," DC Entertainment spokeswoman Courtney Simmons said in an e-mail.
His Facebook page is filled with posts from family and friends, MyFoxBoston.com reported.
"I feel really, really bad, you know, because it is someone you know, it's your friend," Doreen Greeley told the site.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.