LEBANON JUNCTION, KY (WAVE) – As FBI investigators interviewed family members, four cadaver dogs concentrated on a pool on the family’s property as the search for 2-year-old Charlee Campbell intensifies in Bullitt County.
A cousin who was taken into custody in connection with her disappearance is no longer a person of interest in the case, Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said.
Tinnell said a male family member was being questioned early Friday. He also told reporters he was leaning toward the disappearance of Charlee being a custody issue.
“We think there’s a chance that she could be in the woods, but it’s getting narrower all the time,” Tinnell said. “I don’t know that I believe that she is in the woods, I’m leaning more toward a custody issue and something’s happened there that we don’t know about yet.”
Charlee has been missing since 10 a.m. Thursday. She was last seen at her grandmother’s home in the 600 block of Winding Hollow Road off Lower Beech Grove Road.
Tinnell said police searched Charlee’s mother’s home, who lives a few miles away from the home where she was last seen. Tinnell said nothing was found during the search.
Charlee’s father lives in Bowling Green and has been denied visitation. Tinnell said Charlee’s father has not seen her since September 2017. Kentucky State Police troopers searched his home Thursday. Tinnell said at this point he does not believe the father was involved in Charlee’s disappearance.
On Thursday, Charlee’s mother’s boyfriend was taken into custody on outstanding, unrelated warrants, according to Tinnell.
Charlee’s mother and grandmother were taken in for questioning and her grandfather will be questioned today. He said authorities asked tough questions and do not have any reason to dispute the answers the family provided at this point.
Charlee’s grandparents have custody of her. Tinnell said their home has also been searched and nothing was found.
He also said a family friend was seen at the home and that deputies were planning to search his property.
The Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office said Charlee has shoulder-length blonde hair and brown eyes. She’s approximately 3 feet tall and weighs around 37 pounds. Police also said she was last seen in winter-themed pajamas with designs from the movie “Frozen.”
Officials originally said Charlee was autistic but Tinnell said Friday that she was not and that she does speak.
There’s a possibility her pet pit bull, Penny, is with her. Penny is blue/gray in color, according to officials. Tinnell said it is still unclear where the dog is.
Southeast Bullitt chief Erik Butler said volunteers will be able to search the woods after the K-9s finish their search around noon. Those who want to volunteer to search the woods are asked to go to Beech Grove Baptist Church. Butler said Cundiff Hollow and Beech Grove Road was closed, but they will allow access.
People who live in the area are asked to check buildings and their property for the child.
Southeast Bullitt Fire Department and the Bullitt Co. Sheriff’s Office are among the agencies involved in the search. Because the area where the girl was last seen borders Fort Knox, the Army is also conducting a search on their property.
Anyone with tips is asked to call the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office at (502) 543-1262.
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