Hundreds gather for McGhee search

Published 12:39 pm Thursday, April 10, 2003

By By PAUL KEANE – Special to The Standard
More than 250 people -- some representing various law enforcement and search and rescue departments and others just caring neighbors and citizens -- searched a nearly 40-mile square radius in Escambia and Baldwin Counties in an attempt to find Melinda Wall McGhee.
McGhee was reported missing on March 24, and investigators have been following leads and looking for clues since then. Signs of a struggle were found inside her home on Kent Drive, but officials have said they are still looking for leads in the case.
Members of McGhee's family said Saturday morning before the search began in earnest that they were touched by the turnout, and that they hoped to get some relief by having some clues found. As of press time, no new leads or clues had been found.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said he wasn't surprised by the large turnout.
Weather was threatening to cut the search short Saturday, as officials had blocked off a 36-square-mile radius which was expanded to approximately 40 miles. The area began at the home of McGhee and expanded outward from there, reaching portions of Baldwin County and Escambia County, Fla.
Before the search began, Smith said he and his staff are not giving up hope of solving the case.
Members of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Department, Mobile County Sheriff's Department, Monroe County Sheriff's Department, Escambia County, Fla., Sheriff's Department, United States Marines, Atmore Police Department, Pritchard Police Department, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Atmore Fire Department, Perdido Fire Department, Walnut Hill Fire Department and nearly every fire department in the area was involved in the search.