Update: Elizabeth Olten body found
Thu, 22 Oct 2009 03:53:25 GMT —
Update: Friday 3 p.m.
Police found the body of Elizabeth Olten just minutes ago near the area search crews were looking for her.
A written note from an unidentified person led police to juvenile offender, where they also found Elizabeth's body.
An older juvenile is in custody. Authorities would not say if the juvenile is a boy or girl.
The juvenile is local to the area and has no connection to the family.
A press conference has just ended, more information will be available soon.
Update: Friday 2:10 p.m. Cole County Sheriff Greg White says they do not believe that Elizabeth Olten's father's criminal history has anything do to with her disappearance.
Dale Olten Sr., has been in a prison since April serving a four-year sentence for drug possession.In February Olten Sr. and his son, Dale Olten Jr., were arrested for burglary after a two day man hunt. KRCG covered that story, to see mug shots are read the story click here.The sheriff says a random abduction is not likely. He says they are still hopeful to find Elizabeth alive: "we are endeavoring to find a young lady very much alive and reunite her with her family."
Today, the search is going better thanks to the weather. Update: Friday 12:45 p.m.
The highway patrol is using a helicopter at his hour to search for missing 9 year-old Elizabeth Olten.
The helicopter is using infrared scanners to look for heat on the ground.
Besides looking from the sky, about 70 searchers are on foot.
UPDATE: Friday Noon
The family is working with the "Missouri Missing" organization to make pins and flyers to hand out.
The FBI is helping but does not have jurisdiction in the case.
The sheriff says that no new volunteers are needed.
If people want to help they are asked to call the red cross, which is assisting in the efforts.
UPDATE: Friday 10 a.m.
A press conference is underway with the Cole County Sheriff's Department about what the department is doing in the search for Elizabeth Olten.
Sheriff Greg White said search crew of 67 people were on the ground at 7:30 a.m.
In contrast to yesterday, which was a "mass saturation search", White said today's search will be more pin-pointed and directed.
White also said the department has some phone records back from AT&T from Elizabeth's cell phone and investigators are going through those.
The FBI is helping but does not have jurisdication in the case.
UPDATE: Friday 8 a.m.
The highway patrol will be using a helicopter to search for Elizabeth Olten today. Cole County Sheriff Greg White also told KRCG investigators have questioned registered sex offenders in the county and calls some of those interviews "very strong."White says information from the public likely will help them solve the mystery of what happened to the little girl.The sheriff says that no new volunteers are needed. Today the focus is on smaller, more specific areas. If you would like to help contact the Red Cross.
UPDATE: Thursday 11 p.m.
The mood was somber among searches as as the crucial 24-hour mark passed earlier this evening.
Cole County Sheriff Greg White says information from the public likely will help them solve the mystery of what happened to 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten of St. Martins.
Elizabeth was last seen around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday night when police say she vanished walking home from a friend's house along Route D near Highway 50.
Thursday's search has been called off for the night and will resume at 7:30 a.m. Friday.
'I want my niece home'
After a day of searching turned up no trace of the Cole County fourth grader. At a news conference, her aunt made a desperate plea for her safe return.
"I want my niece home, I want her safe," said Vicki Olten, crying. "She's a beautiful young girl and [has] a full life ahead of her. She does not deserve this. Her family does not deserve this."
Olten says Elizabeth wouldn't have wandered off because she was afraid of the dark and believes she was abducted.
The sheriff says the investigation so far has uncovered no evidence of foul play but says that could change.
Volunteers turned away
On Thursday 300 volunteers and 100 law enforcement personnel combed the area around her home. Rescuers covered more than a half-mile by half-mile grid twice.
"We've done far more than the capability we've got," said Sheriff Greg White. "And that's simply because of the level of citizen involvement and the willingness they've had."
By late afternoon, so many volunteers showed up that many, like Gene Bauer, had to be turned away.
"We've got plenty of gravel roads in this area that could have been checked," said Bauer. "The last thing I wanted to hear from somebody is, 'Oh we've got insurance concerns.' Well people aren't out here concerned about insurance or liability. They're out here concerned for that little girl."
False rumors spread
While searchers were being turned away, a rumor started that Elizabeth's body had been found. The sheriff said that is absolutely false and criticized those who spread the rumor.
"I have spent more time telling people that rumors are incorrect," said White. "And it's really doing a disservice to the family for people to put out incorrect rumors."
Around the time Elizabeth went missing, the highway patrol set up a road block not far from her home.
"Just handing these [flyers] out to everybody coming through the area here," an officer said handing out a flyer with Elizabeth's picture.
Officers stopped traffic for several hours and talked with drivers to see if they saw or heard anything.
Authorities also slightly changed the description of what Elizabeth was wearing. She had on a pink T-shirt with a darker pink vest and blue jeans with pink ribbons on them.
During Thursday's evening news conference authorities also announced they've started a new 24-hour tip line. Anyone with any information is urged to call (866) 362-6422.
The highway patrol has committed to using a helicopter when the search continues Friday morning. The sheriff also says investigators have questioned registered sex offenders in the county and called some of those interviews "very strong."
Elizabeth lives with her mother. Her father, Dale Olten Sr., has been in prison since April serving a four-year sentence for drug possession.UPDATE: Thursday 7:15 p.m.:
A 24-hour tip line has been set up to take calls from anyone who might have information on the case.
The number is (866) 362-6422. Anyone who has information or may have seen something is urged to call.
Sheriff White says the highway patrol helicopter will be out searching again Friday. The rain made Thursday's search difficult but didn't slow it down, according to White. The weather was the reason a helicopter wasn't used in today's search.
Authorities have an updated description of what Elizabeth Olten was wearing when she went missing. Olten was wearing a pink T-shirt with a darker pink vest over that when she went missing. She was wearing blue jeans with pink ribbons on them.
UPDATE: Thursday 6:25 p.m.: All searchers, including law enforcement, are being pulled out of the woods, according to Cole County Sheriff Greg White.White says the woods are too dank and wet to continue a safe search tonight for missing 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten.White says they traced the source of the rumor that a body had been located. The sheriff said it is totally untrue and that no body has been recovered.Police officers are now stopping cars coming in and out of the area handing out flyers and asking questions, according to a KRCG reporter on scene.Many are questioning why an Amber Alert has not been issued. The highway patrol says that the law creating the amber alert defines specific criteria, which include evidence of abduction.Sheriff White says he has no evidence so far that Elizabeth was abducted, but says if new information comes forth he will request an Amber Alert.The highway patrol says the specific criteria are designed to keep the amber alert system from being overused.In this case, an endangered person's advisory was issued instead."We put this out to law enforcement all through the Region F area, which is a 13-county area, and of course entered it into the NCIC which covers the United States, said White. So the simple difference would be how much the average citizen would get on it.Meaning that with an advisory there is no activation of the warning systems on TVs, radios or highway signs.KRCG has confirmed that Elizabeth lives with her mother. Her father, Dale Olten Sr., has been in a prison since April serving a four-year sentence for drug possession.
UPDATE: Thursday 3:04 p.m.:
Rumors that Elizabeth Olten's body has been found are untrue, according to Cole County Sheriff Greg White.Police say they are turning away volunteers because they have too many.The command post says there are still volunteers searching the woods.
UPDATE: Thursday 2:03 p.m.: KRCG News has an update following an afternoon news conference with Cole County Sheriff Greg White.White says so far they have no information that would lead them to believe foul play is involved.There are now over 200 volunteers helping in the search. The sheriff says they have enough volunteers for the time being.The rain is hampering the search effort which is still focusing on where AT&T says the Elizabeth's cell phone was last located. The last "ping" pointed searchers to the woods behind the family's home. The family says it is a mystery why the cell phone would be in the woods because Elizabeth only walked near the woods.
The cell phone is no longer responding to the "pings" from the cell tower and could have a dead battery. The sheriff's office has requested the call records from AT&T.Lowes Home Improvement store has donated rain gear for searchers.
UPDATE: Thursday 1:05 pm: The FBI has now been called in to help search for a missing 9-year-old girl.
"I just want my little sister home safely," said Elizabeth's older sister, fighting back tears. "I don't know who would have done anything. We all want her home safely." Hundreds of volunteers are also searching the woods near the rural home of Elizabeth Olten. The location is about five miles west of Jefferson City in the town of St. Martins.Elizabeth is a fourth grader at nearby Pioneer Trails Elementary School.The family says it is grateful for all the support from the volunteers. The Missouri Highway Patrol is aiding in the search with a helicopter.KRCG News is on the scene of an afternoon press conference and will have updates online. UPDATE: Thursday 10:41 a.m.: KRCG News has learned that missing 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten had a cell phone on her when she she disappeared.The sheriff's department contacted the cell phone provider, AT&T, who "pinged" the cell phone to triangulate its location.AT&T put the cell phone's location deep in the woods near Elizabeth's home. The family says Elizabeth would not have been walking in the woods to get home from her friend's house.
There are only four homes between the friends house and Elizabeth's and the family says she normally walked near the road.AT&T says the cell phone is not responding to pings anymore and probably ran out of batteries, the phone company says it will continue to monitor the phone in case it turns back on. UPDATE: Thursday 9:35 am: The Cole County sheriff says more volunteers are needed in the search for a missing girl.During a 9 a.m. news conference Cole County Sheriff Greg White said anyone interested in helping search for Elizabeth Olten should come to the St. Martins' VFW or call the sheriff's department at (573) 634-9160.White says the rain is making the search more difficult and that they are currently using search dogs and are considering using a helicopter.White told reporters that Olten is not a runaway and that an Amber Alert may be issued later Thursday.Authorities are currently contacting registered sex offenders in the surrounding areas.Original Story: Wed. 10:00 pm:
Police are searching for a missing 9-year-old St. Martins girl.
Elizabeth Olten was last seen around 6:15 p.m. coming back from a friend's house, a quarter mile from her own home, according to Cole County Sheriff Greg White.
A family member says Elizabeth was last seen around 5:15 p.m. walking on Route D. She was returning home but never showed up.
Search teams are using flashlights to comb the area. Elizabeth was last seen wearing a pink sweater over a T-shirt with butterflies when she disappeared. She was also wearing blue jeans and white sneakers.
Police are searching and have a search team assembled at the Extreme Body and Paint shop where they have been since 7:30 p.m.
So far the highway patrol has not issued an Amber Alert.
No other details are available as of 10:20 p.m., when White confirmed crews were still searching for the missing girl.