ROCKPORT — With wet weather today continuing to stall the search for 2-year-old Caleigh Ann Harrison, and rough seas also forecast for tomorrow, Massachusetts State Police have pushed back to Wednesday any resumption of the formal serach for missing Gloucester 2-year-old, Caleigh Ann Harrison.
But other aspects of the investigation are ongoing — with new hopes are being pinned on the results of a weekend interview with Caleigh's 4-year-old sister to help find the missing child.
Elizabeth Harrison, 4, spoke with a person trained in caring for children with traumatic experiences — described as a child psychologist by family members — on Saturday, according to David Harrison, Jr., brother of Caleigh's father, Anthony Harrison. Elizabeth had initially told State Police she could not remember what happened in the last moments before Caleigh disappeared. Authorities have not advised family members of any the results from Saturday's interview.
Elizabeth and Caleigh were playing on Long Beach near Cape Hedge Beach with their mother, Alison Hammond, and the family dog. Hammond turned from the girls to get a wayward ball, and when she returned, Caleigh was gone.
Massachusetts State Police reiterated this morning that foul play could not be ruled out at this point — noting that, though there seems to be no evidence of an abduction, without proof that Caleigh went into the ocean, alternative scenarios cannot be discounted either.
"We'd have to have obviously clear information that Caleigh entered the water," said State Police spokesman David Procopio. "We can't say for sure what happened to her."
Procopio said late this afternoon that a renewed coastal search by divers and with state police helicopters, initially planned for tomorrow morning, will not restart until Wednesday. That's because Tuesday's weather forecasts continues to call for high winds and rough seas that could endanger searchers as well.
A Gloucester woman, however, is looking to do her part to keep Caleigh's disapperance in the foreground, and is urging fellow residents to shed light on the comunity's support for the family and for Caleigh's return.
A neighbor of the Harrison family, Sheila McCarthy, is asking locals to put a candle in a window facing in the direction of Long Beach, with the idea of an ongoing mini-vigil in as many homes as possible. Family members and other residents had also joined in a candlelight vigil at the Long Beach site of Caleigh's disappearance.
Authorities, meanwhile, continue to carry the investigation in a variety of directions.
On Friday, State Police used a buoy weighed to match Caleigh's estimated 35-pound weight in order to determine where the current could have carried the girl. The buoy followed the southern edge of the rocks at Saratoga Point, then turned north and landed along the rocks by Cape Hedge Beach, Procopio said.
Procopio said divers searched that area before bad weather forced the divers out of the water, but nothing was found.
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Stephanie Bergman can contacted at 978-283-7000 x3451 or email@example.com