NEWFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — It's been nearly a month since 34-year-old John Sciaba went for a walk in the woods behind his house and never returned.
Searchers and family members have looked in the 11 acres of dense woods for Sciaba; there are signs he was there, but he has not been found.
An experienced outdoorsman, his girlfriend was not worried when he went out for a walk, she knew he loved the woods. According to family members, "long and difficult hikes and epic winter adventures were normal."
His family has shared new information that tells the story of a smart, motivated child who could take apart and put together appliances, build a go-cart from scratch and compose his own electronic music.
His cousin said the family thought he would end up at MIT or a top engineering school.
Sciaba's family said his 20s were consumed by instability, medications and hospitals.
Recent years have been more stable. He found a girlfriend who family members said, "could connect, communicate and calm him." They shared a love of the outdoors and wildlife and felt safe in their small home on the edge of the woods.
The medications that kept him calm also dulled his senses, and his cousin says he would drift off of them, looking to gain back "some of that old spark, creativity, awareness." That spark came at a price, he would hear things, get confused and frustrated.
It was in that state his family said he went out into the woods, to "calm his head." He had done it before, and it always helped.
This time, he went out wearing fleece, perhaps unaware that an ice storm was headed his way. When the storm hit and John hadn't returned, his family knew he was in trouble.
Searchers went out wearing snowshoes, and a drone was sent up to look for a heat signature, but John Sciaba remains missing.
Authorities have told his family it is no longer a rescue mission, but recovery. Still, the search continues. His family, friends, volunteers, the sheriff's department, all keep making their way into the woods John loved, wanting to know that he is there and in peace.