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Investigators use dogs to search yard for girl


Investigators use dogs to search yard for girl

February 4, 2004


Big Bear Grizzly

Sheriff's department investigators with the search dog division were called to a house in Big Bear City Jan. 31 to search for any clues to the whereabouts of Lillian Gill.The search for a missing Big Bear City girl has turned into an active homicide investigation.

Sgt. Gerry Tesselaar of the Sheriff's Department homicide detail said the investigation has determined that Lillian Leilani Gill was not sent to Milan, Italy, more than two years ago, as has been reported by the girl's parents. At this point, investigators believe the child is the victim of foul play, Tesselaar said.

On Saturday, Jan. 31, homicide detectives were assisted by the Sheriff's search dog team in looking for Lillian. Two cadaver dogs were brought to the Gill residence in Big Bear City to search the back yard for any evidence that might help locate Lillian. While the dogs showed interest in a couple of locations, there were no overwhelming indications of a body being buried in the back yard, investigators said.

Tesselaar's team served a search warrant at the home of John and Sharron Gill on Jan. 27 based on information regarding Lillian's disappearance. Tesselaar said the young girl, who was born in 1997, was reportedly sent to stay with family or friends in Milan, Italy. However, reports were conflicting and it has been determined she didn't got to Italy. She was about 4 years old when she disappeared.

Lillian is the adopted daughter of the Gills, who also adopted Lillian's younger brother. The boy is not in protective custody, Tesselaar said.

Detectives are asking for anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Lillian to contact Tesselaar or Detective Scott Schultz at (909) 387-3589, or contact the Big Bear Sheriff's Station at (909) 866-0100.

2004 Feb 4