The investigation into the disappearance of Thomas Casey GRD ’05, a graduate student in the Political Science Department, is ongoing and divers searched for Casey as recently as Thursday, Connecticut State Police officials said.

Thomas Casey GRD ’05, who friends described as an avid kayaker, was reported missing by his girlfriend the evening of Nov. 8, prompting a massive search by local and state officials and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Casey will not be presumed dead until authorities can positively identify his body, officials said.

An area resident found Casey’s empty kayak on the evening of Nov. 8, and searchers found his paddle and backpack the next day, the Associated Press reported.

Casey, 35, is a teaching assistant for professor Pauline Jones Luong’s class, “Politics of Identity.”

Sgt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman said the experts conducting the search will determine when to end the operation.

The Coast Guard, which began searching for Casey the evening of Nov. 8, suspended its search the next day, Coast Guard Lt. Brian Lefebvre said.

Political Science Chairman Ian Shapiro and Director of Graduate Studies Frances Rosenbluth sent an e-mail to their colleagues Monday expressing their sadness about the accident.

— Marlon S. Castillo