I'm going to apologize for part three taking so long.Its not exactly packed with new information. The old articles I have been using to guide me through this all seem have one thing in common; regardless if the article was written one day, one week, or one year after the incident,they all seem to jump from the events of Friday night's search straight to Sunday morning when Debbie's body was discovered. Little is mentioned about Saturday's search in any article. Although nothing was found,Saturday's search,provides one of the most controversial and oft discussed facts of the case,which we will discuss in Part 4.
As it was once told to me by folks who were there, every able bodied man in the area was searching for Debbie. Boy Scouts, firefighters, the State Police, local officials, neighbors, and concerned citizens all joined in the search. One article places the number of searchers at around seven hundred people searching a 3.2 mile radius.Most areas were searched multiple times by different groups.Bloodhounds were brought in to track sent.Road blocks had been set up and vehicles traveling in the area were checked late into the night.
A command post was set up at the Rices Landing fire hall. The Lady's Auxiliary, as well as other women from the area, provided food for the family and search parties. Almost everyone in the area was somehow involved in the search for Debbie. As far as I know, this was the largest search in the town's history. Seven hundred people, more than the town's population, searched the area for one little girl. People who had lived their entire lives in the town and knew every facet of of its landscape found nothing. We will come back to this.
Since I have posted the first two parts of this blog, several local newspapers have printed articles on the case. While it is good the case is getting new attention, it also sad that other than this blog, a thread on Websleuths.com, and occasional random conversations,the case seems to only be mentioned on a ten year anniversary cycle. One headline touted the case as being "closer to being solved",which is not necessarily true.
A new Trooper has been assigned the case; he is planning, per the article, to follow up on a few 'persons of interest' with DNA testing. For years now, people have wondered why DNA evidence was not introduced into the investigation. DNA testing was not available until the late 1980's and the techniques of evidence preservation have vastly changed in the forty years since the murder. These factors complicate what seems to most folks as a quick solution to the case.
DNA testing, from the way it was explained to me, is similar to fingerprints in that if there is not a sample in the database from a specific person, there will be no match. In other words, if you have never been swabbed for DNA and commit a crime, DNA evidence would be useless unless a sample is collected from you. Some believe that by simply testing a DNA sample, it will give you the identity of the culprit, which is not the case. Another problem with DNA testing in this case is the likelihood that the killer is dead. Forty years is a long time and anyone who was above their mid-thirties back then may be deceased. I seriously doubt a body would be exhumed for DNA testing. However, I suppose it can eliminate more persons of interest and narrow the field of suspects.
As I stated before, I plan on interviewing some folks who were there. People who actually had 'boots on the ground' as the media likes to say nowadays. I will post their thoughts and memories as I get them. I have also been contacted by some folks who were there but wish to remain anonymous. They have plenty to add to this story. We will continue with our fun-loving exploration posts soon but this series of posts is far from over. It will take time to write these posts as I want them to be written, so please be patient.
Before I sign off on part three..a few things. People are welcome to comment on the blog posts and we've received many so far. These comments and opinions are not ours but those of our readers. We will not edit or delete comments unless they are outright inflammatory or name a specific individual as a suspect.
As always, I welcome insight from folks who were there and wish to share memories either publicly or anonymously. You can email us at email@example.com. Also, if any members of the Makel family wish to contact me in regards to the posts, please do. I have thought about stopping by but wish to respect your privacy. I can be reached at the email address above.