46 / 32
      45 / 29
      46 / 27

      Weather, location add to Cray search challenges

      Police say high temperatures and the place they are investigating are complicating their search for a missing Jefferson City man.

      Capt. Doug Shoemaker said personnel searching the Allied Waste Landfill on Monday took regular breaks for water and rest. Although crews are working at a landfill, he said they do not always need to wear protective gear. Cadaver dogs on loan from Missouri Task Force 1 were sent home Monday morning, though Shoemaker said the department would call them back in if they were needed.

      Police have concentrated on the landfill in recent days in their search for Christopher Cray, who disappeared 41 days ago. Police have consistently said they are not ruling out anything as to what happened to Cray, but in an earlier interview, Shoemaker said the chances of finding him alive decline as the investigation drags on.

      During the past week, investigators at the landfill have dealt with temperatures ranging from the 70s at night to Monday's high of 92 degrees. A little more than a tenth of an inch of rain fell on Saturday. How much the weather affects evidence depends on the type of evidence involved. If a body is hidden in the landfill, Shoemaker said the heat would likely speed up the decomposition process. He declined to comment on how weather would affect other types of evidence because he did not want to reveal what police were looking for.

      The landfill itself further complicates the investigation. Since there are so many items in the landfill, Shoemaker said police have to work especially slowly so they don't miss anything.

      Shoemaker said the Cray case is very rare for the department because of the scale of the landfill search. Shoemaker is the division commander for JCPD's detectives, and he said he has never seen any investigation like it in his 22 years with the department.

      Shoemaker said the investigation will continue on Tuesday.