Search for missing Cornell student continues

By Erika Mahoney

May 26, 2013 Updated May 26, 2013 at 6:58 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) As Cornell University seniors walked across the stage to receive their diplomas Sunday, one would be graduate is still missing.

Seneca County Sheriff Jack Stenberg said search efforts for Christopher Dennis, 22, continued Sunday, marking day five of the search.

Stenberg said he is very proud of everyone's efforts, especially in face of the weekend's harsh weather conditions.

"Yesterday, people were in the boats dealing with four and five foot waves in some areas," Stenberg said. "Tremendous willpower and stamina to even stay out there. But they stayed out there. They were doing their job."

Stenberg said it is a very difficult time for Dennis' family, especially with graduation Sunday.

Dennis has been missing since Wednesday morning when he took a canoe out on the lake in Seneca County.

The canoe was found capsized on the lake about eight hours later.

According to Stenberg, Dennis' friends say Dennis liked to take a canoe out and go.

As of now, authorities think that is what Dennis did, but something happened along the way due to strong winds and rough water.

Stenberg said the search will continue Monday, but may scale back after that.