Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hope fading for missing N.H. girl

Tips continued to pour in Saturday in the disappearance of an 11-year-old New Hampshire girl, but so far none have led to the child, Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said.
"We are looking at those tips. We are honing the investigation based on those tips," she said.
The FBI offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the disappearance of Celina Cass, who vanished between 9 p.m. Monday night and the time her parents went to wake her Tuesday morning. Officials said a private citizen is also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Celina Cass' return.
Dive teams will be brought in Sunday to search area ponds, Young said.
About 100 investigators -- including FBI agents, New Hampshire and Vermont state police, local authorities and employees of the state's Fish and Game Department -- have been searching for Celina door-to-door in the small, tight-knit town of West Stewartstown.
"We are still aggressively, aggressively searching and hoping to bring Celina Cass home," FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kieran Ramsay said Saturday.

Residents said police canvassing hundreds of homes had collected household garbage and were going through it, looking for clues. Police also spent time at Back Pond.

Jane Young of the state attorney general’s office said dive teams would be brought in today, but she would not specify where they would search for the girl.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kieran Ramsey, announcing the $25,000 reward, said, “This reward should not be read into that we are transitioning in any way in this investigation.”

“We are still aggressively — aggressively — searching and hoping to bring Celina Cass home,” Ramsey said.

Residents said they believed the rewards could be effective.

“That’ll get some gums flapping,” said Robby Kimball, 53, owner of Wayne’s Lanes and Jo’s Bar in neighboring Canaan. “Ain’t no doubt about it, whether it’s right or wrong, that’ll get some gums flapping.”

Investigators from multiple federal and state agencies, including the Massachusetts state police who arrived with all-terrain vehicles, again trekked through the rugged, wooded north country landscape.

“We have some very extreme terrain here, even the mountain goats don’t like,” said local emergency management director Bill Allen, adding there are plenty of places that could conceal a body indefinitely in the area on the Canadian border.

Nearly a week into the search, people here began to voice concerns Cass may never be found.

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