A massive search of a rugged area 20 miles east of Ellensburg was undertaken by law enforcement this weekend as they searched for clues into the 2009 disappearance of Lindsey Baum, whose remains were identified last week.
ELLENSBURG — A large-scale search involving law enforcement personnel from Washington, Idaho and as far as Montana was conducted Kittitas County over the weekend searching for evidence in the area where the skeletal remains of 10-year-old Lindsey Baum were found last fall.
Baum went missing from the small town of McCleary, Washington, in 2009.
Last week authorities in Grays Harbor County announced that a DNA analysis confirmed remains found in Western Washington by hunters belonged to Baum. They declined to specify a location, presumably in anticipation of a search for any evidence that might have survived the years.
Late Saturday, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the search there involved the recovery of Baum’s remains.
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“An initial area search was done after the remains were found in the fall of 2017, just prior to the first snowfall. Last week found that the last of the snow in the search area had melted, thus allowing for an additional search to be done,” according to a Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office news release issued late Saturday.
Saturday’s search took place about 20 miles west of Ellensburg in an area described as steep and heavily timbered, with large cliffs and deep ravines.
Nearly two dozen K-9 teams, investigators and search and rescue teams from 10 agencies from across the state and as far as Polson, Mont., were involved in Saturday’s search.
“It’s humbling to see the level of support for this case. These search teams and investigators are among the best there are and they understand the relevance to the investigation, the family and the community. To watch them work, you would never guess they come from over 10 different agencies,” Kittitas County undersheriff Clay Myers said.
The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office and the FBI continue to lead the investigation into the child’s disappearance and were seeking the public’s assistance.
A telephone call to Grays Harbor County on Sunday seeking additional information was not immediately returned.
Lindsey Baum disappeared the evening of June 26, 2009, while walking home from a friend’s house in McCleary, a small community about 20 miles west of Olympia.
For almost nine years, the girl’s parents circulated fliers featuring their 10-year-old daughter’s smiling face. The case gained national attention.
Last week, Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott announced Baum’s remains and been found and confirmed through DNA, and declared the case was being investigated as a kidnapping and homicide.
The remains were turned over to the FBI for DNA analysis, which took several months.
The discovery was called a major break in a disappearance that saw authorities and the girl’s parents searching for answers for years. Authorities said they asked to more than two dozen possible persons of interest, none of whom panned out as a suspect.