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FBI Update on Missing Teenage Oregon Girls

Aired August 24, 2002 - 16:05   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good afternoon, I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center in Atlanta. We want to take you to Oregon City, Oregon now where an FBI spokeswoman is updating reporters there on the ongoing search of a home of a self-described suspect in the case of two missing teenage girls. Let's listen in.
BETH ANNE STEELE, FBI SPOKESWOMAN: ...at the Lab and tested the Golden Retriever. The third dog was from Northwest Search and Rescue out of Albany and that was Tara (ph) the German Shepherd. At this point, you may have seen the black van pull in. That's the FBI Evidence Response Team van. The other truck that went in with it is the Oregon State Police Crime Lab van.

So they have technicians who are now starting to work on the property. As they make their initial assessments of the property then they have other members standing by and they will bring those in. You may see that they're being checked in.

The security is very tight. It's important that there is a clear record of who is on the property and who is doing what, so that is one reason that they have the check-ins at the front gate and they have a strict limit on who can be in there and what they're doing. At this point, I can take a couple questions. Again we don't have a lot new to tell you.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What have you found or what have they found?

STEELE: I can't get into any specifics about what may or may not have been found. I can tell you that if there are any significant developments, any significant finds that we will hold a press conference and go over those with you all together.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Will this search continue throughout the night?

STEELE: The search is scheduled to go probably through the afternoon and maybe early evening, but certainly not after dark tonight. There will be people on the property all night to maintain the search warrant status or the legal authority status but then we will continue again tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Beth Anne (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

STEELE: I'm not going to talk about anything along those lines.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

STEELE: I went over this at the eleven o'clock briefing. The FBI uses the term "subject" and we do not name someone as a subject in any case until a person has been charged, and at this point there has been no one charged in this case.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I noticed they went down in to the apartment complex. Are they searching their apartment complex again?

STEELE: As far as I know they are not. One more question.

UNINDENTIFIED REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

STEELE: Well, we're here for a reason and the reason is that they have information that hopefully will bring Ashley and Miranda home. That is our goal to bring Ashley and Miranda home.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

STEELE: I'm not going to go into that, no. The importance is to bring Ashley and Miranda home and to prosecute whoever is responsible for that crime and that is why we're not releasing as many details as you would like us to, frankly, because we want to make sure that the prosecution if and when it happens there are no problems with it in terms of information that was released prematurely.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

STEELE: There are no agents at Michele Duffy's (ph) home. Thank you. Three o'clock briefing.

WHITFIELD: All right, you've been listening to Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Oregon City, Oregon saying that the search throughout the home of Ward Weaver in Oregon City will continue. He is a self-described suspect in the case of missing 13- year-olds Miranda Gaddis and Ashley Pond. We'll be continuing to watch this story with a full update coming up in about 50 minutes on "CNN SATURDAY." I'm Fredricka Whitfield from the newsroom. We're going to go to a short break for now.

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