Sheriff: 'We did not find a body'
Published 7:42 pm Friday, February 1, 2008
Escambia County sheriff Grover Smith put to rest numerous rumors that the body of Melinda McGhee, who has been missing nearly five years, was found on a dirt road near the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation.
"We had information that Melinda McGhee might be in a septic tank off Atmosphere Road behind an abandoned house," Smith said Friday afternoon. "So we had a crew show up to the site this morning including FBI agents, some officers who worked a similar detail with Bay Minette Police Department and several of my deputies and the county sent a backhoe out there and we dug up two septic tanks and completely emptied both of them. We did not find a body and there was no indication that she was ever there."
According to one rumor, an inmate at the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton offered up the information leading deputies to the site where the ruins of a burned home on Jack Road just off Atmosphere Road.
"The tip came about by some information, but it wasn't an inmate at the jail," Smith said. "It was a result of several interviews that led to this person being interviewed. That's how it came about."
Smith said two septic tanks, a "new" one and an "old" one, were dug up and drained at a burned down home off Jacks Road, but nothing was discovered.
Anyone with information about Melinda McGhee's disappearance is asked to contact the Escambia County Sheriff's Department at 251-809-2141.
For more from Smith and additional information, read Sunday's Atmore Advance.
– Adam Prestridge