Lewis County Girl Missing
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011 ; 11:20 AM
Updated Wednesday, September 28, 2011; 06:38 PM
BENDALE -- UPDATE Wednesday Sept. 28 6:05 p.m. Almost five days later and the Lunsford home in Lewis County is now a crime scene.The home in which Aliayah Lunsford, 3, lived is where her mother said she was last seen wearing her purple pajamas.
But some question if it should've been turned into a crime scene much earlier and if police missed out on crucial evidence. The FBI, which took over the investigation Wednesday, doesn't think so.
"You can Monday morning quarterback almost any effort, but I would not make that statement," Special Agent John Hambrick said.
"It's overwhelming for a department. There are a lot of things that need to be done since she hasn't been located," said Lt. Harold Sperringer of the Morgantown Police.
FBI agents collected evidence all day Wednesday from the Lunsford home and volunteer crews led by officials re-canvassed the area.
The Morgantown dive team also searched through the West Fork River, which divers said is 4 to 6 feet deep, but only has 3 to 18 inches of visibility. Officials said they are trying to get as much equipment as they can to find Aliayah.
"High tech equipment, sonar, the corps of engineers has brough a ROV. It has a camera on it for searching underwater," Sperringer said.
And even though officials even drained a nearby pond, and still consider the mission a "rescue," there's still no sign of the girl. And the community is left to pray.
Officials thanked the community for its help but also said they don't need any more volunteers. They want to avoid ruining any potential evidence. If you have any information about Aliayah you're still asked to call 911 or the Lewis County Sheriff's Office at 304-269-8251.
UPDATE Wednesday Sept. 28 11:15 a.m.
Law enforcement agencies held a press conference Wednesday morning and said that search crews worked through the night Tuesday night, searching for missing 3-year-old Aliayah Lunsford.
FBI Special Agent John Hambrick said FBI agents from Clarksburg and Pittsburgh have taken the lead on the investigation. He said it is a collaborative effort with state police and county law enforcement.
“Officials are not publicizing the investigative techniques they are using in this case,” said Hambrick, although they have confirmed that they are using sonar.
Officials said they have received helpful tips through the sheriff’s office and the state police.
If you have any information, contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department at 304-269-8251.
There will be a law enforcement briefing at 5 p.m. and a press conference on Wednesday