ITHACA, N.Y. –– A 16-year-old Ithaca High School student was taken into police custody and is being evaluated by mental health professionals after leaving campus early Friday afternoon.

IHS sought police assistance in locating the student, telling law enforcement that the student may be a danger to himself.

Ithaca Police searched the city for the missing student as well as put out an alert to all Tompkins County police agencies to be on the lookout. At approximately 2:15 p.m. Tompkins County 911 received a call from a citizen reporting a person matching the missing student’s description behind a residence in the 900 block of Stewart Ave.

Officers from the Ithaca Police Department were already in the area, checking the Fall Creek Gorge. Officers from the Cayuga Heights Police Department and the Cornell Police Department responded and assisted.

Officers located the missing student near the cliff edge on the north side of the Fall Creek Gorge. Law enforcement began a dialogue with the student, and were able to take them into custody without incident.

“On behalf of the Ithaca Police Department, I would like to thank school officials who notified us and the alert citizen who reported seeing the missing student,” Sr. Deputy Chief Vincent Monticello said in a press release Friday afternoon. “I am equally proud of the professionalism and compassion the officers displayed in helping this young person in crisis.”

The student, whose name will not be released, was able to be reunited with his family.

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at