Police Use Radar To Search Yard Of Leekin's Former Home

Date: 2009-02-25
Source: wpbf.com

Detectives Hope To Find Remains Of Missing Adopted Son Of Abusive Mother

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Less than a week after Port St. Lucie police searched three former homes of convicted child abuser Judith Leekin looking for the body of her adopted and severely handicapped 10-year-old son, police returned to one of the homes Wednesday using a new, high-tech device to help them in their search.

This time, police used ground-penetrating radar to search the yard of Leekin's former home on Lion Lane.

"What it does is it looks into the soil for patterns of disturbance, if somebody had dug in the soil," Detective Stuart Klearman said. "It's not going to pick up the shape of a buried wrench from a tool set that somebody dropped years ago, but it will tell if there's been, for example, a shallow grave dug in the soil."

The device was on loan from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, who sent two technicians to help work the machine.

Police searched all three yards with cadaver dogs last week, but they didn't find anything.

Leekin was arrested in 2007. Detectives said she held four teenagers and five mentally challenged adults captive, some bound with zip-ties.

Shane Graham wasn't there; he disappeared from one of Leekin's Port St. Lucie homes in 1999.

Detectives received a tip from a "reliable" third-party source that Leekin might have buried the child's body in one of her yards.

"We have to rely on their memory going back 10 years, of course, which can be problematic," Klearman said.

If the ground-penetrating radar detects something, police will dig in the hopes of bringing closure to the mystery surrounding Graham's disappearance.

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