Article from 2006Friends burn candles for Cayce
After 11 years, family and friends still hold out hope for missing girl
By TONYA SMITH-KING firstname.lastname@example.org
MILAN - Polygraph tests will soon be given to several individuals regarding the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl 11 years ago.
Thursday marked the anniversary of the disappearance of Cayce Lynn McDaniel. Family, friends and law enforcement gathered for the usual candlelight vigil at Double Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the church she had attended.
In fact, McDaniel had just returned home from a service at the church when she went missing the night of Aug. 16, 1996. Her friends last saw her when they dropped her off at home.
Milan Police Chief Ken Nolan told about 30 people gathered at Thursday's vigil about the polygraphs - commonly known as lie detector tests - that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will do. There are at least three or four people police want to test, Nolan said.
Two already have agreed to take the polygraph, he said. He believed others would, too.
Police must get a person's permission in order to give him or her the test, Nolan said following the service. He would not identify the individuals they will test.
The test measures vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, said Gibson County Sheriff Chuck Arnold
Two investigators with a program called Project Alert Volunteers suggested that Milan police do the polygraphs. Project Alert Volunteers is a program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The investigators spent several days in Milan this year examining every aspect of the case, Nolan said. One investigator said he believed police had a fair shot of solving the case.
Some of those who will take the polygraph have already taken one before in connection with the case, Nolan said.
Investigators "want to get the records of how they did, and when they re-question them, see how it compares," Nolan said.
The TBI will contact the Milan Police Department when it's ready to do the polygraphs, Nolan said. He was not sure when that would be.
A man police had said was a person of interest didn't pan out, Nolan said. The man knew McDaniel, but he had an alibi that several people confirmed, he said.
Arnold told vigil participants that his department is continuing to work closely with Milan police on the case. The Sheriff's Department got fewer leads this year than in the past but pursued every one of them, Arnold said.
Nothing materialized from those leads, he said.
"I believe that at some point that the information we need will probably come to us," Arnold said. "It may come in some unconventional form connected to another case or another arrest that has nothing to do with her, but information could develop leading to a positive resolution.
"It's just important that we don't forget," Arnold said. "As long as we get a lead, then that means people are still talking about it, and I see that as a good sign."
McDaniel's best friend, Amber Hansen of Medina, thanked everyone for attending the vigil. It was a good turnout despite the fact that the case is 11 years old.
"I just asked everyone to continue to pray for her and her family and for everybody not to forget her, to keep up the awareness and know that the case is not closed," Hansen said after the service.
McDaniel's aunt, Gina Walls of Medina, attended the vigil with her sister-in-law Pam Flowers, Flowers' husband, Larry, and their 19-year-old son, Lucas Smith, who is McDaniel's cousin.
"We're just grateful for the church here and everything they do for Cayce where she can stay in the media," Walls said. "Maybe one day her case will be solved. At least people don't forget she's missing. Hopefully, she can be brought home."
Pam Flowers, who is also McDaniel's aunt, said the family misses her.
"I just wish that anybody that knows anything would have the courage to step up and bring some closure to it," Pam Flowers said. "I know there's somebody out there that knows something. I don't know what they're afraid of. It's been 11 years."
Participants moved outside the church after a brief program inside. They lit candles and stood in prayer in a circle, each with a candle in his or her left hand and the right hand on the shoulder of the next person - as the church's pastor, Russell Little, had requested they do.
The circle represented "God's everlasting provision and faithfulness," Little said. The light represented "the hope that will not be extinguished, and our prayer is being lifted up in one voice to God, our source of comfort and strength," he said.
Little pointed out earlier in the program that he had just realized Thursday that McDaniel's disappearance coincided with the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death in 1977.
"Cayce was not a superstar, but she was super special to those who knew her here tonight," he said. http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070817/NEWS01/708170307/1002/RSS