http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-missing17-2009jan17,0,5608469.storySearch continues at Brea landfill in case of missing woman, 82
Sara Mowry of Laguna Hills disappeared from an assisting-living home this week. Homicide investigators are searching for the possible remains or other evidence.
By Tony Barboza
1:12 PM PST, January 16, 2009
Homicide investigators today resumed searching a soccer field-size patch of a landfill in Brea for the possible remains of a missing Laguna Niguel woman.
A dozen investigators and three earth movers dug through the Olinda Alpha Landfill in the 1900 block of Valencia Avenue, hoping to recover evidence or the body of 82-year-old Sara Mowry, who disappeared from her assisted-living home Tuesday.
The investigation has not been deemed a homicide, and authorities still consider Mowry a missing person who vanished under "highly suspicious circumstances," said Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.
"It is my sincere hope that she is alive and well somewhere," he said today, adding that no suspects had been named.
Mowry's son reported her missing Tuesday.
The search through 6,000 tons of garbage is likely to take days. "We have a long way to go," Amormino said.
With the help of landfill employees and a global positioning system, law enforcement has been able to isolate trash dumped from near the Laguna Niguel location earlier this week, spotting mail addressed to places near Mowry's home.
"This is the closest one comes to really looking for a needle in a haystack," said Julie Chay, spokeswoman for the county-owned facility.
The search began Thursday afternoon with heavy equipment and a cadaver dog.
On Wednesday night, Orange County sheriff's officials found a pickup truck that they say might be linked to Mowry's disappearance. Authorities impounded it in Santa Ana after pulling over the driver, an acquaintance of Mowry's grandson and a parolee at large.
The driver, in his 20s, was arrested on an unrelated charge, Amormino said. The truck will be examined for any evidence.
The last person to see Mowry -- on Monday night -- was her grandson, an Orange County resident in his 20s.
According to Mowry's son, Amormino said, she never left home without her walker. But "the walker's there, her hearing aids are there, her purse is there, and her medications are there. So that's highly suspicious."
Amormino said that Mowry had suffered some "inconsistencies" regarding her checking account but that he could not be more specific. She is described as white, 5 feet 4 and 145 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes.Anyone with information is asked to call (866) 847-6273.