WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA/AP) – Allegheny County Police searched a wooded area near the Allegheny County Airport Thursday for the body of Alivia Kail, a 19-year-old woman who disappeared in 2011.
During a press conference Thursday morning, police announced they have launched a search in three areas around the airport, where they have had leads.
“We determined there was three areas in the greater county airport area that Alivia could have been or may be,” said Lt. Andrew Schurman, of Allegheny County Police.
The areas in question were determined by information from several devices and cell phones as well as interviews with dozens of people.
Each of the three sectors is at least 10 acres.
Police have discovered bones in those areas. However, a pathologist from the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that most of the bones are animal remains, with the exception of one bone that wasn’t definitive.
That bone is going to a lab for further testing.
Cadaver dogs have also found two areas that need further examination. Digs are now planned in those areas.
Kail’s mother, Christine DiDiano, also spoke at the news conference and urged anyone with information to come forward.
“It has robbed my life for the two years, and the only thing that I can and I still do is pray very hard for the strength,” said DiDiano.
Allegheny County Police said they can’t say for certain that Alivia is dead. They said she may very well be alive and that they are looking at more than one person.
This is the largest search they have conducted so far in this case. None of the search is taking place on airport property.
“I’m praying very much so that they find her out there,” DiDiano added. “The exhaustion, the manpower, everything, the hearts that are in this right now is tremendous.”
Kail went missing in March 2011 and was last seen after telling friends she was going to Florida with her boyfriend. But the young woman’s cell phone was shut off and there was no proof that she ever made the trip.
Kail’s boyfriend was questioned by police and jailed for several weeks on unrelated drug charges, but he was never charged in connection with her disappearance.
The nearly daylong search turned up very little. Police did recover the bone that is being tested in a lab, as well as a t-shirt. Investigators don’t know if it’s connected to the case either, but it is also being tested.
“I still feel today’s a very productive day anyways,” DiDiano added. “It’s not a loss, it’s a beginning.”
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