The disappearance of George Richardson, a Huntington Hospital executive who went missing last month while vacationing with his wife and sons in Montauk, has "left a hole in the hearts of all those who love him," his family said in a statement Tuesday.
Mary Richardson, of Dix Hills, had previously declined to comment since her husband vanished from Hartman's Briney Breezes Motel the morning of Aug. 28.
She thanked East Hampton police and "all of the volunteers for their tireless efforts over the last four weeks in investigating the disappearance," Mary Richardson said in a statement issued by the department.
"As you might imagine, this has been a very difficult time for our family," she said. "George is a loving husband, a caring father, a wonderful son and brother, a fun uncle, a great brother-in-law, special son-in-law, friend, and a valued co-worker."
The family, she said, has decided to deal with the situation privately. "Our family is trying to help the Richardson children deal with a pain that no one can imagine and have made a conscious decision to do so out of the public eye."
Det. Sgt. Robert Gurney, lead investigator in the case, has said Richardson, 50, may have gone for an early morning ocean swim with his body board the day he disappeared. Gurney said police are exploring this theory because one of the Richardson family's four body boards is missing.
Richardson was last seen by one of his sons about 1 a.m. in the family's motel room, police said. Every indication is that he went back to sleep "and when the family woke up later that morning he was not in the room," Gurney has said.
Richardson, vice president of development -- a fundraising post -- at Huntington Hospital, previously held top fundraising and alumni relations positions at the Diocese of Rockville Centre's Mercy Medical Center, Hofstra University and St. John's University School of Law. In July, he was appointed to the board of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce.
East Hampton police ask anyone with information about Richardson's disappearance to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 631-537-7575.
With Gary Dymski