Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Search of pond fails to find girl

The Associated Press

        DAYTON, Ohio — Police investigating the disappearance of a 9-year-old who vanished more than two years ago searched a pond in an abandoned gravel pit Tuesday, but found no sign of the girl.

        Divers and cadaver dogs, which can detect human scent, searched the pond on the city's east side in hopes of finding some sign of Erica Baker.

        The girl left her home in suburban Kettering on Feb. 7, 1998, to walk her dog. The dog was found about an hour later in a park, but the girl had disappeared.

        “We're satisfied at this point that there's no body down there,” said Glenn Evans, a spokesman for the Kettering police department.

        He said investigators decided to search the pond after being told that dogs searching for a missing man several weeks ago had alerted to several spots on the pond. The body of the man was later recovered in the water.

        Mr. Evans said that when dogs were brought to the pond Tuesday, they alerted to a spot in the water.

        The pond is about 10 miles from the park where Erica disappeared.

        After she vanished, hundreds of volunteers, a trained rescue team and search dogs looked for a week, but found no trace of the girl.


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