Search for Mari Ann Fowler Enters Third Day

Published: Dec. 25, 2002 at 11:52 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2002 at 1:48 PM CST
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The search for Mari Ann Fowler is into it's third day and searchers are on foot Friday. The wife of former Elections Commissioner Jerry Fowler has now been missing since Christmas Eve night. WAFB's Jennifer Hale has been following the intense search for Mari Ann Fowler and joins us from Port Allen with the latest.

Volunteers with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office are now looking for a set of tracks they hope could lead to Mari Ann Fowler. Search parties are scouring all of West Baton Rouge by foot and 4-wheeler. They abandoned the helicopter and infra-red sensor stratgey late yesterday after finding nothing for two days. This search is now being done entirely by hand.

This morning, more than 25 volunteer deputies with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office fanned out to look high and low for a set of tracks. Mrs. Fowler was kidnapped Tuesday night - just hours after a hard rain that left the ground soft and impressionable. Whoever took Mrs. Fowler likely left some sort of imprint behind- tire tracks, drag marks, footprints.

Search team members also tell 9 News they are closely looking for anything disturbed such as broken locks on buildings or recently displaced leaf piles. This is a little bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.

John Tilton with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office says, "We're trying to break the parish down into smaller grids where we can look at any part where a vehicle could travel - anything to give us information. We're trying to shed some sort of light on this case."

Officials say they are not ruling out any possibility. That is why they are looking into the possiblity that Fowler's disappearance could be connected to the serial killer that has already been tied by DNA to the murders of four south Louisiana women this year. Because the serial killer has a pattern of leaving his victims either 300 feet from the scene of the crime or 300 feet away from a spot he can get to with his car - volunteers are looking for a set of tire tracks could help investigators pinpoint one certain location to search.

Meanwhile another set of investigators flocked to the East Baton Rouge - Livingston parish line this morning. Witnesses reported seeing a white truck at the Amite River bridge near Denham Springs- the same spot where little Courtney Leblanc's body was found nearly two months ago. You might remember witnesses reported seeing a white truck in the area around the time Mrs. Fowler was abducted. Crime scene investigators combed the area for clues - so far no significant information was found.