UPDATE – The search for a missing Harvard Business School student will resume Tuesday morning.

Portland’s police chief Michael Sauschuck said divers called off their search of the waters near the Casco Bay Ferry terminal in Portland around 6:30 tonight.

They are expected to return to the waterfront Tuesday morning with members of the Maine State Police dive team, who will use side scanning sonar equipment. The equipment has the ability to detect dense objects under water.

The police chief also said investigators are reviewing video surveillance tapes that were taken from video cameras in the area where police believe Nathan Bihlmaier may have fallen into Casco Bay.


PORTLAND — Family members and many of his fellow Harvard Business School students kept a vigil Monday as they waited for news about the search for Nathan Bihlmaier, who disappeared from the Old Port over the weekend.


Bihlmaier, 31, of Cambridge, Mass., disappeared around 1 a.m. Sunday after coming to  the Old Port with two friends to celebrate their graduation from business school, which was scheduled for Thursday.

Brian Kenny, a spokesman for Harvard Business School, said Bihlmaier is a popular student and some 18 to 20 fellow students had driven up to Portland to offer support to his wife and parents.

“His friends describe him as really one top notch guy,” Kenny said. Bihlmaier had already started working at a health care technology company and was looking forward to graduation, he said.

“I’m told he is really passionate about health care that’s why he chose that for his career,” Kenny said.

Family and friends are trying to stay positive, he said.

“We do remain hopeful, despite signs to the contrary,” Kenny said, not far from the area where police divers have been searching alongside the Maine State Pier. “It’s important if anybody saw him, we want to hear about it. Any information at all.”


Bihlmaier is well-known and well-liked at the prestigious business school, which will graduate 900 students on Thursday, he said.

The Portland police dive team plans to resume its search for Bihlmaier Tuesday.

At a 3:30 p.m. press conference, Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said divers found an article of clothing in the water south of the State Pier that they believe belonged to Bihlmaier, but they wouldn’t specify what type of clothing they found.

Sauschuck also said Bihlmaier had been asked to leave Ri Ra Irish Pub at 12:20 a.m. because he was overly intoxicated.

On Saturday night, Bihlmaier and his two friends had been at Ri Ra on Commercial Street, when Bihlmaier left the bar shortly before his friends did.

Bihlmaier tried to communicate with his friends via cellphone multiple times between 12:20 a.m. and 1 a.m., Sauschuck said, but they never rendezvoused. The last information the friends had was that Bihlmaier was on Commercial Street because he described the building he was in front of.


The communication stopped after 1 a.m.

The friends called police Sunday morning when Bihlmaier did not return to their hotel room.

“It’s an unusual one,” said Lt. Gary Hutcheson. “He is a well-established individual from a strong family. He has a wife who is expecting their first child. There is no reason he would (purposely) go missing.”

On Monday morning, the Portland harbormaster and the Coast Guard were patrolling the area south of the State Pier, near where Ri Ra is located, to keep other boats away from the divers and search area.

Divers searched around the piers and pilings for Bihlmaier or any evidence about what might have happened to him.

But after several hours of searching, including the use of a cadaver dog in an inflatable raft, police packed up their gear around 1 p.m. and appeared to end their underwater search.

At the press conference, Sauschuck said divers were just taking a break and needed more oxygen for their tanks.

Police said Monday morning it’s possible Bihlmaier fell into the water and drowned.

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