Canine experts at centre of Jersey body search

25 February 2008
Yorkshire Post

Two specialist sniffer dogs belonging to South Yorkshire Police are at the centre of the grim search of a former children's home in Jersey where the remains of a body has been uncovered.

Teams at Haut de la Garenne in St Martin, on the east coast of the island, are working with canine experts Eddie and Keela and using specialist equipment - including ground penetrating radar - to fully excavate parts of the Jersey youth hostel.

The search is now centering on a bricked up cellar at the hostel, which was formerly an orphanage.

Officers were alerted to the site after a child abuse investigation was launched last November with allegations dating back to the 1960s.

The canine pair have such specialised skills they are regularly in demand by forces around the world.

Springer spaniel Eddie specialises in detecting human remains and was responsible for finding the remains at Haut de la Garenne through several inches of concrete on Saturday.

Previously, the seven-year-old "enhanced victim recovery dog" was involved in the hunt for Madeleine McCann in Portugal and formerly located the body of pensioner Attracta Harron in a shallow grave in Co Tyrone in April 2003 after the 65-year-old was murdered on her way home from Mass.

Three-year-old Keela, another springer spaniel, is handled by Martin Grime and can detect quantities of blood too small to be seen by the human eye.

She can even find traces of blood on clothing or weapons that have been washed and scrubbed repeatedly.

The canine pair have already travelled around Britain and to Ireland and the US to help police investigating murder and missing person cases.

Experts working on the Jersey investigation have dug trenches in the ground floor of the children's home and are conducting a fingertip search of the area.

Around 17 Jersey police officers are currently working on the historical abuse inquiry.

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