Monday, May 29, 2006

Missing Reachelle Smith, Update

Story orignally posted by the Minot Daily News:

Sunday, May 28, 2006 — Time: 4:51:21 PM EST
Search winds down for missing Minot girl

MINOT (AP)

REACHELLE SMITH


Investigators asked for further help from the public Saturday in the search for a missing 3-year-old Minot girl.

Minot police asked that everyone in the area be vigilant in checking any sheds, bushes, cars that haven't been driven recently and any property that hasn't been inspected lately.
Searchers looking for Reachelle Smith began winding down their efforts on Saturday, after bloodhounds failed to turn up any trace of her.

Police Capt. Al Hanson said any new leads would be checked out, but "we've had virtually no leads coming in,'' he said. "(The search) has pretty much been shut down.''

Searches might resume in the coming days, but nothing was scheduled today, Hanson said.

Reachelle has not been seen since the night of May 16. Hundreds of people have been searching for days on the ground, in the air and in the Mouse River. Hanson said only about three dozen people were searching on Saturday, and only on the ground.

"We completed a neighborhood canvas for the fourth time with no positive results,'' Hanson said. "We want to double- and triple-check to make sure we haven't missed anything.''

Authorities also finished draining a section of the river near the girl's home "as far down as we can get it,'' Hanson said. "The dogs were run past that (Saturday) morning.''

Searchers on Saturday also returned to the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge, where the body of Leigh Cowen, 22, was found in a van Tuesday. Authorities say he knew Reachelle's family and they suspected he had taken the girl.

An account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank under the names of Reachelle and Stephanie for anyone who would like to donate to a reward fund for information relating to the girl's disappearance.

Donations can be sent to Wells Fargo Bank, P.O. Box 1488, Minot, ND 58702.

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