A skier who vanished from Whiteface Mountain and somehow ended up in California doesn’t recall what happened in the six days he went missing, according to New York State Police.
“We ask no one to jump to any conclusions,” said Major John Tibbitts at a news conference in Ray Brook Wednesday afternoon.
Constantinos “Danny” Filippidos, a forty-nine-year-old firefighter from Toronto, had been skiing on Wednesday, February 7, when he told friends he wanted to take one last run. When he failed to return by the time the resort closed, his companions alerted authorities. His car was still in the Whiteface parking area.
Tibbitts said state police planned to interview Filippidos as soon as they can, perhaps later today. At the time of the news conference, Filippidos was on his way back to New York State.
Tibbitts said he doesn’t know how Filippidos got to California.
“Danny doesn’t really know what happened the last five to six days of his life,” he said.
In an interview with the Explorer, Filippidos’s union boss, Frank Ramagnano, said the skier offered him this explanation: “He said he somehow got hurt on the ski hill. He doesn’t remember much. He thought he crawled into a truck for shelter or something.”
After the disappearance, state forest rangers, state troopers, numerous volunteers, and officials from other state and federal agencies undertook a massive search involving thousands of person-hours. On each day, there were more than a hundred searchers at Whiteface.
On Tuesday, Filippidos called his wife from Sacramento, the capital of California, and she advised him to call 911. In a photo taken in California, Filippidos is still wearing his ski togs. He also was carrying his helmet and goggles when found. The photo cuts off his shins, and Tibbitts said he didn’t know if he was still wearing his ski boots.
Tibbitts said Filippidos was in good health.
He said police have not ruled out that Filippidos may have gone to California intentionally. Asked if Filippidos could face any charges, Tibbitts replied, “We’re not aware that he’s broken any laws.”
State police are trying to piece together how Filippidos made it across the country. Anyone with information should call 518-873-2750.
Video from press conference
Click here to read a state police news release.