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Search for Buffalo police officer Lehner suspended on Sunday due to weather

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo police officers as well as agencies from all over the region were back on the Niagara River searching for Officer Craig Lehner Sunday.

The veteran member of the police force has been missing since Friday afternoon, just before 1p.m.. Lt. Jeff Rinaldo has informed us they are now only searching for Officer Lehner; believing a rescue is unlikely.

“Realistically, we know he couldn’t have survived this long so now it is a search mission,” Lt. Rinaldo.  “And we will keep searching until we can bring home our brother.”

Dive crews entered the water once again Sunday morning to continue the search. They’re using a pattern search formation, meaning SONAR is searching below the water first, followed by a camera, then a dive team.

Police are changing their search radius now, as well. They’re moving north as they explain new information is leading them to believe that’s the direction Officer Lehner might have been heading due to the strength and direction of the current at the time when the officer when missing.

The teams are remaining in the water and searching. The lieutenant tells us they’re continuing to evaluate the safety of those conducting the search efforts, especially as wind advisories will be in place and rain is in the forecast.

The search was suspended at 3:22 p.m. on Sunday due to unsafe water conditions.

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