Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ward Weaver: Like Father, Like Son

The Big Break — At Last

A week after Weaver landed in jail, the task force investigators finally got the big break that they had been looking for in the disappearances of Ashley and Miranda. According to police reports as well as a number of published reports, the straw that broke the camel's back in this case came about when another of Weaver's sons, this one 19 years old, came forward with information. According to the son, Weaver purportedly told his son that he had done "bad things" and was planning to leave the area. His son told detectives that he believed his father had been referring to Ashley and Miranda.

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FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele told CNN that the task force now had probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the house and property where Weaver and his family resided. On Friday, August 23, 2002, a judge approved the search warrant. The entire property on South Beavercreek Road was cordoned off, and an extensive search was planned for the following day.

"This authority is the result of and directly related to the investigation of the Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis kidnappings," Steele said. "The search will cover the house and the property....We'll be searching every inch of the property over the course of the next few days....Remember, the goal was not just to obtain a search warrant, but to obtain a search warrant that would not be overturned by a higher court at some later point."


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