Police search for McGhee in pond
Published 4:00 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009
By By MaryClaire Foster
After spending seven hours searching a gravel pit Saturday morning, authorities still have no concrete information on the possible location of the suspected remains of Melinda McGhee.
McGhee was 31 years old when she was reported missing on March 24, 2003, and officials with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said their office received a tip that her body may have been buried in the rock quarry.
Cadaver dogs and sonar equipment were used to search the area, which included a pond, located off Jack Springs Road behind Judson Cemetery.
Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said the search was well executed and they gathered what information they could and what they thought was pertinent at this time.
Lambert explained that cadaver dogs work off of smelling for DNA absorbed from plants and said because of the proximity to the cemetery and weather conditions that day it may have affected their search.
Lambert said no immediate information was available from the sonar equipment and compared it to a doctor looking at an initial X-ray.
Lambert said they expect to have information available from the sonar information this week.
He said that there is a possibility they may go back over the area if their information points out a need to.
The last formal search relating to McGhee was almost exactly a year ago, in February 2008, when authorities received another tip and subsequently dug up and emptied two septic tanks off of a dirt road near the Poarch Band of Creek Indians reservation.
The FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Poarch Police Department, North Baldwin Search and Rescue Squad, Escambia County (Ala.) Rescue Squad, Escambia County (Ala.) Search Dog Association and officers with the Alabama Wildlife &Fisheries Division all aided in Saturday's search.
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office asks that if anyone has any information, even if it seems insignificant, to call their office at 251-809-0741.