Missing Westchester Man's Friends, Family Hold Onto Hope

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Left to right: Michael Sannicandro, Tina Ciccone, Kowshik Raman, Jackie Burrell and Joel Szklarski.
Left to right: Michael Sannicandro, Tina Ciccone, Kowshik Raman, Jackie Burrell and Joel Szklarski. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin
Harry Devert
Harry Devert Photo Credit: Filed

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Pelham native Harry Devert's friends describe him as "addicted to friendships." He's always been the kind to keep in touch, even when he is traveling halfway across the world.

When the 1999 Pelham High School grad's friends didn't hear from him for a few days during a motorcycling trip through Mexico, they thought little of it. However, when days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into missed birthdays and events he wouldn't usually forget, they knew something was wrong. 

More than 50 days after Devert's last contact, despite seemingly hundreds of leads each as inconclusive as the last, four of his closest friends still hold out hope for his safe return. 

Though Devert's social media, phone and bank accounts all show no activity after Jan. 25, several of his childhood friends now spend much of their unoccupied time in pursuit of information on his disappearance.

They are Michael Sannicandro of Pelham, 32; Tina Ciccone of New Rochelle, 28; Joel Szklarski of New Rochelle, 31; and Kowshik Raman of Pelham, 33.

They congregated in family friend Jackie Burrell's Larchmont home on Monday, March 31 to continue to the search and look over possible new information, which has become a major part of their everyday lives. 

"I Google his name everyday to see if there are new articles, and I even go through the old things," said Raman, whose shirt displayed the hashtag for the search effort, #helpfindharry. "I look through the blogs posted about him."

As they search, the friends share fond memories of Devert and discuss possible ideas for what could have happened.

When asked to describe Devert, Sannicandro said, "He's the most interesting man in the world."

"He sees the best in everybody," Ciccone said. "Everyone, regardless of situation, of any color, all races. He sees the best in everyone, almost to a fault. There could be somebody who is evil, and he would try to find the good in them."

Devert's friends feel the hardest part of the search is the lack of closure.

"It feels like you’re in limbo, because you physically cannot do anything to help," said Szklarski. "Whenever I tell my wife I'm coming here to help look, she asks me what I'm going to do. I tell her I have no idea, but I'm going to do whatever I can."

"It'd be different if Harry was missing in Westchester or the United States," Ciccone said, "We could go door to door and hang up fliers and talk to people. But he's somewhere down there and we don't speak the language or know the culture, so we're stuck up here."

"All I want is to find some of his clothing, or his tent, or his belongings," Sannicandro said. "Something to send us in some kind of direction."

Ann Devert of New Rochelle, Harry's mother, is currently in Mexico staying with friends and continuing the search for her son.

@suzannesamin

ssamin@dailyvoice.com

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