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Dogs pick up scents in search for woman

June 29, 2009
By MICHAEL ANICH, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Family of missing city resident Kellisue M. Ackernecht said Sunday's public search for her in the Frog Hollow area yielded two possible scents turned up by cadaver dogs.

"Two of the dogs had hits," Thomas Kilcullen, the missing woman's brother, said today. He said 28 people, several from outside the area, took part in Sunday's search effort.

He said the dogs detected scents in an area near the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility. He said the four teams of searchers combed an area from the Rail Trail at Frog Hollow to the sewer plant, as well as on the outskirts of Johnstown near the Sir William Johnson Volunteer Fire Department station.

Ackernecht, 37, of 330 W. Main St., was last seen Sept. 30 leaving her job at Rite Aid in Amsterdam just after 9:30 p.m. Early the next morning, her husband Jayson's 1998 Saturn sedan, which she had been driving, was found engulfed in flames in Frog Hollow area of West Montgomery and Chestnut streets Oct. 1.

Kilcullen said the cadaver dogs were from Michigan and that same private group plans to come back and search some more in the future. David Lohr, a crime writer affiliated with cable TV network Investigation Discovery, and volunteers from TrackMissing from Albion, Mich., were on the scene Sunday.

"They told us this is not over," Kilcullen said. "We're not done. They need some more investigation. They said they're not stopping."

Johnstown police Chief Gregory Horning said today Officer Richard Jones and Sgt. Jamie Allen assisted with the search.

Horning said today Allen indicated the cadaver dogs hit on something near a manhole on Union Avenue, but an initial investigation found waste and feminine hygiene products. The city Department of Public Works was expected to completely clean out that particular city drain today, he said.

He said city police allowed TrackMissing to bring their cadaver dogs to go near Ackernecht's burned car, which is being held as part of the investigation at the city Department of Public Works building on Crescendoe Road. He said the dogs found nothing there.

Horning said he had no followup report from TrackMissing and no indication from that group that they would be coming back to the area.

 
 

 

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