Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ward Weaver: Like Father, Like Son

Search Dog

Although the area had been searched by a dog and its handler once already, in January, shortly after Ashley had disappeared, a second dog handler not affiliated with law enforcement asked Ashley's and Miranda's mothers for permission search for signs of their daughters. Permission was, of course, granted, and after obtaining clothing articles that held the girls' scents, the dog handler searched areas of possible significance, including a canyon near Weaver's house. Nothing was turned up.

FBI search Weaver home.
FBI search Weaver home.

Refusing to give up, the handler took his dog to Weaver's house on his next attempt to unearth clues. Although allowed onto Weaver's property, Weaver instructed him to keep his dog away from a slab of freshly poured concrete in his backyard, claiming that he did not want the dog to damage it. The handler took the dog near the concrete slab, however, at which time the canine began to display signs indicating that a deceased human might be nearby — the so-called dead body alert. The dog handler turned in his findings in the form of a report to the Oregon City Police Department, but it would be some time yet before it would be acted upon.

According to CNN, the FBI was frustrated because of the lack of evidence in the case.

Charles Matthews, FBI Special Agent in Charge
Charles Matthews, FBI Special Agent in Charge

"There is no crime scene, there are no forensics, and we have no witnesses," said Charles Matthews, FBI Special Agent in Charge. "Eventually this kind of predator will strike again, and this, of course, is obviously what propels our need to resolve what happened to our girls...the actual solution to this case is still in the community. It's still out there. Someone still has the info we need to resolve what's taken place....I think all the investigators have concluded that we are dealing with abductions here."

The mystery of whatever happened to Ashley and Miranda was one that many people began to believe would never be solved.


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