Absent from the vigil as well as media is the step father, who has not spoken publicly. Neither the mother nor the step father have used media to make a plea for their daughter's safe return. The only statements from the mother have been concerning, but it is the absence of both mother and step father that is raising more questions. Is this the Casey Anthony era where law enforcement feels they need more than circumstantial evidence for a conviction?
Posted Friday, September 30, 2011 ; 06:33 PM
Updated Friday, September 30, 2011; 06:57 PM
Email | Bio | Other Stories by Stacy Jacobson
WESTON -- Seven days have gone by without locating Aliayah Lunsford, 3. And with the Friday weather cool-down, the search is turning desperate."That's a long time for a child to survive in this kind of environment without food, water and shelter and exposed to the elements," FBI Special Agent Jeff Killeen said.
Volunteer search and rescue crews and K-9 units re-combed the West Fork River and its banks Friday. The FBI said law enforcement is surveying the area separately, looking for any clues or evidence.
But the question of what happened to Aliayah remains and the possibility of eventual charges is becoming more probable.
"There's going to be some type of consequence. In all likelihood it's going to be a criminal consequence," Defense Attorney Tom Dyer said. Law enforcement sought legal advice from Lewis County Prosecutor Gary Morris Friday and briefed him on the case.
Defense Attorney Tom Dyer has offered his services for free to anyone who comes forward with information on Aliayah's whereabouts. He said coming forward is in the best interest of a potential perpetrator.
"If you come in now, you are certainly going to be treated more favorably than if this thing continues to drag on and on," Dyer said.
"Surely someone must know something. A person doesn't just vanish out of thin air like this," Killeen said.
Still, the community and all the volunteers, wait and hope that she will be brought home safely.
The FBI said its volunteers are "exhausted," and new volunteers are welcome this weekend.
If you have any information about Aliayah, please call 911 or the Lewis County Sheriff's Office at 304-269-8251