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FBI analyzing key evidence from Idaho

No sign of young siblings missing since killings, despite 800 tips


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An Amber Alert was issued for siblings Shasta and Dylan Groene.
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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (CNN) -- The FBI laboratory in Virginia was analyzing key evidence Sunday from the blood-splattered Idaho home where three bodies were found last week, authorities said.

There was no sign of the two young siblings who have been missing since the killings.

The lab in Quantico is usually closed on Sundays but broke its routine to work on the case.

Rick Ohnsman, acting spokesman for the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, said critical evidence -- which he didn't describe -- was hand-carried to the lab. Also, FBI profilers were in Coeur d'Alene to analyze the case.

By Sunday, he said, more than 800 tips had come in on special hotlines, and at least a dozen additional calls were generated from the Fox television show "America's Most Wanted," which covered the case Saturday night.

So far, investigators say the tips have provided no solid leads on the deaths -- or who may have taken the children and where they might be.

Dylan Groene, 9, and his sister Shasta, 8, have been missing since Monday, when police found the bodies of their mother, Brenda Groene, 40; their 13-year-old brother, Slade; and the mother's boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, 37, at Groene's home.

Since then a massive hunt has been under way for Dylan and Shasta.

The nationwide Amber Alert describes Dylan as 4 feet tall, 60 pounds, with short blond hair and blue eyes; and Shasta as 3 feet 10 inches tall, 40 pounds, with long auburn-brown hair and hazel eyes.

The three bound victims were brutally beaten, and coroner Dr. Robert West said all died from blunt force trauma to the head. (Full story)

West said a preliminary toxicology report showed the presence of "illicit drugs" in the two adults, but not in the teen. He did not say what drugs were found.

Investigators found evidence in every room of the house, which is near dense woods in northern Idaho, said Ohnsman, the public information officer for Idaho State Police who is helping the sheriff's office deal with media.

The victims were last seen alive Sunday night when there was a cookout at the house, authorities said.

Relatives said they were trying to control their grief so they could help search for the youngsters.

"Driving into town and seeing their faces up on billboards, seeing the Amber Alerts, and having people in this community just reach out to us has meant so much," said Jennifer Inwood, a cousin.

The children's aunt, Wendy Price, tried to comfort her niece and nephew Saturday by telling them to "hang in there" -- with the hope they could hear her. (Full story)

She also urged whoever may have taken the children to turn themselves in and hope for "compassion."

Price is the sister of Steve Groene, the children's father.

Addressing the children, Price said: "We're going to find you soon, and just hold comfort in that, and we know that your brother is watching over you right now, and so is your mother."


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