Canine super sleuths

29 February 2008
Aberdeen Press & Journal

It will be some time before the former children's home at Haut de la Garenne, on Jersey, yields all its secrets.

But a canine hero has already emerged in the form of Eddie, an enhanced victim recovery dog from South Yorkshire.

It's thanks to Eddie's super-sensitive nose that the partial remains of a young child were found last weekend, sparking the major investigation which has unfolded this week.

Standard victim recovery dogs are trained to detect human remains in shallow graves. Eddie, a seven-year-old springer spaniel, has been trained to react to the faintest trace of human bones, blood and flesh - even through solid materials.
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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.
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Specialist team in bodies hunt at ex-children's home

25 February 2008
Press Association National Newswire
Katie Hodge

The investigation at a former children's home in Jersey has pulled together an extensive team of specialist officers and forensic experts to hunt for more remains.

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

The specialists, who range from archaeologists to scientists and pathologists, play a crucial role in discovering, preserving and identifying any remains found during a forensic examination.

But the work is being led by two sniffer dogs - one which specialises in detecting human remains and another which specialises in detecting blood.

Springer spaniel Eddie was involved in the hunt for Madeleine McCann in Portugal and was responsible for finding the remains at Haut de la Garenne through several inches of concrete on Saturday.
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Dog that nailed Ulster killer is used in hunt

25 February 2008
Belfast Telegraph
Claire McNeilly

Springer spaniel Eddie, a victim recovery dog, is helping police look for  more remains in the area surrounding the former children's home. Last night, the investigation was focusing on one area of the building,  after Eddie was understood to have indicated that there may be further  victims there.

The crimefighting dog helped police put evil killer Trevor Hamilton behind bars after he found the blood of Attracta Harron (63)  on the 23-year-old murderer's car.  The dog found her body in a  shallow grave in April 2003.

Eddie - who works with South Yorkshire Police with his handler Martin Grime - was also involved in the search for  the body of Arlene Arkinson. The Tyrone teenager vanished after  leaving a disco in Bundoran in August 1994, but her body has never been  found.
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Endemic abuse at home: ex-RUC officer

Endemic abuse at home: ex-RUC officer
25 February 2008
Belfast Telegraph
Deborah McAleese

Former RUC man Lenny Harper said police, who are acting on intelligence that arose from a major child abuse investigation, are now investigating six more sites in the grounds of Haut de la Garenne, a former care home in St Martin on the east coast of the Channel Island, and that it is possible they may find more remains.

Mr Harper, who is now Jersey's Deputy Chief Police Officer, said that the excavation at the site - which featured as a police station in the TV series Bergerac and is now Jersey's youth hostel - took place after a number of abuse victims said they believed human remains were buried at the scene.
"The (child abuse) investigation started when police became concerned about the number of persons in a position of responsibility caring for children being arrested, charged and sometimes convicted of paedophile type offences."

Once (the investigation) was public we were overwhelmed with the number of people saying they were assaulted either physically or sexually at the care home, and our investigation has continued since then," Mr Harper said.
He added that following intelligence that a body may be buried at the site a number of experts and specially trained police dogs - including Eddie, the springer spaniel who helped nail evil Ulster killer Trevor Hamilton - were brought in to examine the area before any excavation began.
" We have been planning this (the excavation) for several weeks. We became aware that a number of victims were saying they thought there were human remains buried at the scene."
Mr Harper added:
"The home is situated in a lovely part of the island. It belies what has gone on behind its walls."
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19 February 2008
The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal

On Oct. 11, 1976, Eugene Zapata hit his wife on the head with a rectangular paperweight, then strangled her until his hands hurt. He wrapped her body in a tent and buried it.

For more than 30 years, he maintained that Jeanette Zapata just disappeared. He kept the secret until earlier this month, when he confessed to Madison police.

Zapata's confession came Feb. 5. He gave a detailed account, as required under a plea agreement he reached with prosecutors to avoid another trial.

On Monday, Zapata, 69, pleaded guilty to homicide by reckless conduct and was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison, though it's likely he will serve less than that. Zapata's statement to police was described in court Monday by Assistant District Attorney Robert Kaiser.

Zapata was tried in the fall for first-degree murder, but after 30 hours of deliberation, the jury could not reach a verdict and Dane County Circuit Judge Patrick Fiedler declared a mistrial. A second trial was to start next month.
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Biggest search in force history

Biggest search in force history
The Citizen
6 February 2010

It was a missing person search which soon turned to a murder inquiry.

Everything Kate possessed was left behind at Redhill Farm. Her keys, car, passport, money, bank cards, handbag, shoes and clothes remained as they were when she was last seen on November 5, 2007.

A total 2,200 councils, police forces, the NHS, and government departments have no record of her existence since that day. She has not touched her £700-a-month teacher's pension.

She kept in regular touch with her family, placed flowers on her parents' graves, and made a note of family and friends' birthdays so that she would not forget to send a card.

But police could not find any evidence of her existence continuing after November 5. Newly released pictures from the police of their home show a farmhouse full of home comforts and a feminine touch; from satin bed covers to a Welsh dresser full of china and pictures of animals on the wall. Kate loved her pet dogs.

On November 14 Gloucestershire Constabulary launched one of its biggest searches for a missing person in its history, calling in specially-trained search officers from other forces to help to comb the 276-acre Redhill Farm and surrounding area.

Bound by the M50 motorway, the A417 and the River Leadon, the search area covered a radius centred on the farm of 1.5km to 2km.

Up to 50 search officers, including some from Gwent and West Mercia forces, went over subdivided sectors of the search area at least twice with broomsticks and specially-designed probes.

A sniffer dog called Eddie, which took part in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann, could not find any trace of her either. (***Blogger note: Eddie found cadaver scent in Prout home. In November 2011, Adrian Prout confessed to murdering Kate.)

The area was photographed from the air to try and identify recently-disturbed ground, a pile of woodchips and a grain store were searched.

The grain was removed to another site by tractors and trailers and put back once officers were satisfied her body was not in the grain store.

Avon and Somerset police divers searched two ponds at the farm, while Thames Valley police frogmen trawled a reservoir used as a water source for a garden centre, north east of the farm.

Vehicles at the farm, including Kate's Mitsubishi and Mr Prout's Jaguar were forensically examined, as was the farm house.

A forensic biologist was called in to carry out a more detailed examination but no blood was found, DS Christopher Ellis told the trial on January 21. He said there was also no sign of forced entry.

Operation Texas, as it was known, saw a huge desk-based hunt for her too - thousands of organisations were contacted as to Kate Prout's whereabouts and of the 2,000 who replied, none had records of her.

Those included Interpol, the UK Border Agency, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, DVLA, local councils, Land Registry, TV licensing, the NHS, dentists, private healthcare providers, utilities, mobile phone operators, Ebay, social networking sites, charities for the homeless and loyalty card organisations.

She was also marked down as a "watched passenger" by the UK Border Agency.

But all this soon pointed the finger of suspicion at her husband.
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