Skip to comments.Police search Poway canyons for sign of missing [San Diego] girl
Posted on 02/18/2002 7:52:29 AM PST by crypt2k
The continuing search for 7-year-old Danielle van Dam drew law enforcement officials to the canyons of Poway yesterday, while the missing girl's father spent the day in the desert recruiting volunteers to help look for clues.
San Diego police said they had no specific information that the missing Sabre Springs girl had been in canyons around Espola and Poway roads but thought it would be a good area to search, said San Diego police spokesman Dave Cohen.
The area is about five miles northeast of the van Dam home, where Danielle was reported missing Feb. 2. She was last seen about 10 p.m. the night before when her father, Damon, said he put her to bed. Police believe she was kidnapped.
Close to 100 searchers with the San Diego Police Department and the Sheriff's Department faced occasional showers and heavy fog as they walked the trails around Espola and Poway roads.
The horse trails lace between neighborhoods, running around Lake Ramona, Lake Poway and the South Poway Sports Park.
The canyon search was called off about 3:30 p.m. because of rain and fog, said Sheriff's Lt. Edna Ito. Officials said they don't know whether the area was searched before, and they have no plans for additional searches today, said Christine Robbins, a sheriff's search and rescue coordinator.
Residents in the area, where homes are being built for between $1 million and $3 million, said the trails are used frequently.
"There are at least 25 miles of trails up here, but I think between the horseback riders and hikers there aren't very many places that wouldn't have been passed over already," said Tim Budniewski, who has lived in the area for six years.
Damon van Dam spent yesterday handing out fliers in Borrego Springs, Glamis and Ocotillo, said family spokeswoman Paula Call.
Van Dam has been recruiting more searchers among the estimated thousands of people who are visiting the desert during the holiday weekend. The number of volunteers ranges from 10 to 100 per day, Call said.
Searchers are concentrating on the desert because van Dam neighbor David Westerfield, the focus of the police investigation, went to the desert the same weekend Danielle was discovered missing.
Westerfield was seen driving to Golden Hill yesterday to meet with his attorney, Steve Feldman. Westerfield stayed in the attorney's office for about three hours. Feldman did not return calls yesterday.
I am trying not to rush to judgment here, but I find his washing his vehicle with bleach very suspicious. I use bleach in my kitchen and bath for sanitation purposes, but can't ever recall using bleach on my vehicle.
I think you may be right about that, but not sure. While police dogs have great noses, there are things that can throw them off, and I would think bleach would surely be one of them. Had a friend at the FBI tell me that extremely cold weather can inhibit a tracking dog's sense of smell.
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