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Published: Thursday, 8/28/2003

Police to scour area for bodies of children

The Toledo FBI office said yesterday a multiagency search will be conducted beginning Tuesday around two Ohio Turnpike interchanges in northwest Ohio in connection with the Manuel Gehring case.

Authorities have been searching a five-mile radius around each interchange of the turnpike between the Pennsylvania and Indiana lines since earlier this month, said Jim DeLong, senior agent-in-charge of the Toledo FBI office.

Authorities will zero in on two sites.

The search will take place in areas in and around Exit 59, the South Reynolds Road interchange, and Exit 52, the Toledo Express Airport/Airport Highway interchange.

Mr. Long declined to say how large of an area officers will search, but did say the search will be meticulous and could last several days.

“We have additional information that leads us to believe that he was in the area,” Mr. DeLong said. “When I say in the area, that means more than just passing through on the turnpike. We believe he spent some time here.”

Mr. Gehring, 44, is accused of killing his children, Sarah, 14, and Phillip 11. He told authorities he shot them in New Hampshire after watching the Fourth of July fireworks in Concord.

He told authorities he buried them in a shallow grave in the Midwest. He is charged with murder. Mr. Gehring had been locked in a custody dispute with his ex-wife.

Mr. DeLong said the Ohio Highway Patrol, the sheriff's offices in Lucas, Wood, and Fulton counties as well as other agencies will assist in the search.

He said media attention to the case helped the FBI develop evidence that led them to concentrate on the areas around the two interchanges that will be searched.

Mr. DeLong said the FBI still can use the public's help in identifying anything unusual in the areas.

“If someone remembers something about a particular area, we would want to go out and investigate it,” Mr. DeLong said.

Mr. DeLong said he would encourage anyone with any information they think might be relevant to the case to contact the FBI.

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