ROCHESTER, N.Y. —The five-bedroom vacation home that sits on the shore of Lake Ontario is usually vacant this time of year. It’s a beautiful house where the Maisel and Murray families gather during the summer when there is laughter and warmth in the air among mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, and aunts, uncles and cousins.
Now there is just concern, anxiety and fear.
“We’re praying very, very hard. This is the worst thing,” said Meg Murray, whose 21-year-old son Max Maisel has been missing since Sunday night. ”We miss him and we can’t wait to see him.”
Max is 6-feet, 5-inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds, his parents said. The junior at Rochester Institute of Technology wears dark-rimmed glasses and his vehicle, a bronze 2004 Acura SUV, was found at the Charlotte Pier. Anyone with any information that could help police find Maisel is asked to call 911.
Rochester Police Department investigators are working to piece together clues, the family said during an interview Thursday afternoon. Max Maisel was last seen around 8 p.m. Sunday by a passerby at the pier, about a mile from the Beach Avenue home the family has owned since 1999. It was windy and snowy Sunday night, but Max was dressed for the frigid weather, the passerby said, according to Max’s father, Ivan Maisel.
“There was a guy who saw him get out of his car,” said Ivan Maisel, a well-known senior writer for ESPN.com who covers college football. “The guy left and came back and the car was still there, and that unnerved him and he called the police.”
Maisel’s parents were contacted Monday night and made the 370-mile drive from their Fairfield, Connecticut, home Tuesday morning. Max had left his apartment on the RIT campus, where he is studying photography, on Sunday. He didn’t have his camera or his phone with him, but his parents said that wasn’t uncommon. “He’s not tied to his phone,” his mother said.
Ivan Maisel said he and his wife each texted Max last week and received responses from him. “We called him at some point over the weekend, and didn’t hear back from him but that wasn’t unusual,” Ivan Maisel said. “He’s not a talkative kid when you’re in the same room with him.”
The family said they’re not aware of anyone who’d want to harm Max. Police and a SCUBA team were seen searching near the pier on Thursday.
Officials at RIT, where the family visited Max’s apartment on Wednesday, have been very helpful, said Max’s parents, who met with RPD chief Michael Ciminelli on Thursday morning. “Investigators have been texting us. Everyone has given us access to them. They’ve all been terrific,” Meg Murray said.
Very, very sad story. If you hadn’t heard yet, Max Maisel, son of Ivan Maisel, a college football writer for ESPN, has been missing for almost a week now. He’s a junior at RIT and was last seen at Charlotte Pier on Lake Ontario in Rochester, NY. I don’t even want to speculate on what may have happened or what’s going on because that’s disrespectful to the family, but if you happen to have any seen or heard anything that could be even of the slightest help at all, please reach out to the Rochester police department as soon as you possibly can. It’s been frigid cold in Western New York this past week so I am sending all my prayers up that Max is safe somewhere. #FindMax