Search for Missing Girl Covers Eastern Hutchinson Island - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/25/03

Search for Missing Girl Covers Eastern Hutchinson Island

Searchers comb the marshes. Searchers comb the marshes.
Ashleigh Moore Ashleigh Moore

Police are still looking for missing 12-year-old Ashleigh Moore. Today they moved their search to the eastern part of Hutchinson Island. They hiked for miles through muddy, thick underbrush. They combed the area with dogs. They used cars and ATVs to cover every inch of the island.

"We're just supporting the detectives and hope she's found," said Sgt. John Best. "I don't think anybody's giving up hope, but we'll react and follow up any leads that we can assist them with."

Twenty-five law enforcement officers, special agents, US marshals and firefighters spent much of the time walking Hutchinson Island. Heavy rains meant no horses today, but the bad weather actually works to the K-9's advantage.

"This is actually perfect weather for a K-9," said handler Angela Batten. "It's kind of bad and nasty for us, but the rain actually helps hold the scent down."

After searching for hours, scouring everything in their path--including an old dishwasher--they found nothing. Still, they vow not to give up, but the subject of their search is tugging at all of their hearts.

"It's a little more difficult when you're dealing with a missing child," said Batten. "It's aggravating, it's frustrating and of course, it's depressing."

Police say they'll continue the search for Ashleigh Moore. They've told us that a search of Ashleigh's mother's boyfriend's car revealed some blood on the vehicle, but they're not saying yet whose blood that is.

If you have any information about where she might be or what may have happened to her, call CrimeStoppers at 234-2020.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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