Deputies Searching for Missing Teen’s Remains at Drained Pond

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Benton County deputies are searching a drained pond near Rogers for the remains of April Andrews, 15, who went missing from Pea Ridge in November 2006, officials said.

Deputy Keshia Guyll, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said the teen told her mother she was going to a nearby church to pick up some clothes but never came home.

Investigators began draining the pond Monday, and now that the draining process is complete, they will begin digging through the mud with their hands for the teen's remains -- or for evidence in the cold case, officials said.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous letter in April concerning the old case, prompting deputies to begin searching through and draining a pond on private property on North Second Street in Rogers, Guyll said.

Guyll said the anonymous letter arrived in April, but the pond wasn't drained until June in part because the investigative process involved getting the landowner's permission and then using cadaver dogs to search the area.

The landowner is not a suspect, Guyll said. She said there are no suspects in the case, but past suspects may be reinterviewed.

"Somebody knows something," said Guyll. "Somebody has to know something. Obviously somebody who wrote this letter knows something. We really just want to urge them to come forward. We really just want to bring this little girl home."

With help from the Benton County Road Department, investigators spent Monday and Tuesday draining the pond. They finished early Tuesday night, officials said.

Mike Herring could see a bit of what was going on from his back yard.

"Something big has had to happen over there for them to put this much time, effort and money into it, so it's kind of scary," Herring said.

Herring said he heard what sounded like construction early this morning.

"Come to find out when we drove up the road, we saw all the equipment," Herring said. "I knew something official was going on."

Diane Bowerman, who has lived in the neighborhood for 22 years, said she hopes it solves a mystery case, even though she hates to see the pond drained.

"However, if there's a suspicious problem and draining the pond Is going to help the police come to some kind of closure, I think it's great," Bowerman said.