Two police K-9 search dogs and up to 12 Massachusetts state troopers returned to Long Beach today to take up a renewed search for any signs of missing Gloucester 2-year-old Caleigh Harrison.
But despite getting help from Rockport Public Works backhoes and other heavy equipment, searchers found nothing, and called off the exercise around 4 p.m.
Following up on a lead that emerged Thursday, State Police said this morning that searchers are to comb a small portion of Long Beach for missing litte girl. The lead was produced by a dog that had a "strong reaction to some type of stimuli on in a very specific area of the beach," State Police spokesman David Procopio said.
Rockport police had checked the lead yesterday, but were stymied by the incoming tide and cleared the scene, State Police said the search would resume at 3 p.m. today, when the tide will be low.
Caleigh Harrison was last seen on Long Beach with her mother Allison Hammond, her 4-year-old sister Elizabeth and the family dog, Lucas around noon on April 19. According to reports, Hammond left the girls to go after a wayward ball; when she returned, Caleigh had vanished.
State Police have not ruled out foul play, and in a TV interview earlier this week, Anthony Harrison, the girls' father, said that Elizabeth — who was interviewed by state police and by an investigator with experience in child psychology — has talked of seeing "a man on the beach who took her sister."
State Police, however, have also said they have found no evidence of any abduction, never issued an Amber alert, and focused the search for Caleigh on the waters off Long Beach before the active water search was called off April 26.
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Stephanie Bergman can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.