Update: Village of Cambridge mourns passing of Police Chief George Bell
CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. (WRGB) Several communities and law enforcement agencies are in mourning over the passing of longtime Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell.
He passed away Friday night after suffering a heart attack.
While he was known to always be there for anyone, he is known for his work in the 2007 disappearance of Jaliek Rainwalker.
The case was never solved. When you walk into the Cambridge police department, the first thing you see is a missing poster for Jaliek Rainwalker.
His grandparents said more than ten years later, Chief Bell continued steadfast efforts to close the case, and still always had time for them.
Barbara Reeley is Jaliek’s grandmother. She said “he was just sure. “He was not going to let this go until he found a resolution.”
Chief Bell served the Cambridge Police Department for 25 years. He also took on chief in Greenwich.
He had also previously served with Washington County Sheriff’s office.
“He never said no. He seemed to be always working,” said Washington County DIstrict Attorney Tony Jordan.
DA Jordan says Bell will be long remembered for his work for Jaliek.
“George was a key piece to the fact that the investigation continued through all of these years,” said DA Jordan.
“He knew that harm had come to Jaliek... I think he was a champion of hoping to bring the issue to trial,” said Dennis Smith, Jaliek’s grandfather.
Both of Jalieks grandparents said they are devastated and still in shock after hearing of the death of chief Bell.
“I could call him and say I can’t stop crying today. And I got info I need to pass on to you, let me compose myself. And he’d give me the time,” said Reeley.
She says while she will miss her number one on this case,she knows the investigation will move forward for Chief Bell.
If nothing else because of his determination there is some substance to it, and that investigation will continue,” said DA Jordan.
Cambridge Mayor Carman Bogle says “he gave his heart to this community and he took the job above and beyond. “
Cambridge Mayor Bogle says they have a point person for the Jaliek case, but doesn’t know who will lead the investigation in the long run.
Calling hours for Chief Bell are Thursday 2:00pm to 7:00pm at the Presbyterian Church in Cambridge.
Funeral services are also there Friday at 11:00am.