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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Sheriff David Gee Announces Body Identified as Sarah Lunde

Aired April 16, 2005 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good afternoon, I'm Carol Lin at the CNN Center. We are going to go straight to the Hillsborough County news conference where Sheriff David Gee is giving the latest on a body found (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 13-year-old girl.
SHERIFF DAVID GEE, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA: .... degree of certainty that it is her, that we have not obviously have the -- had the forensic examination done, but from the physical description and other characteristics, I can say that I believe it to be her. Just -- I told you earlier it was an area that was searched before at least once earlier in the week, and today, search dogs hit upon that area. It was clear from investigators who were at the scene that whoever put her there went to great effort to conceal her body. And right now, we are asking the public if they would assist us in any articles of clothing that you would see in this area, in this immediate area that -- you know what her physical description is, that if you would see any articles like that that you would notify us of those.

Law enforcement will continue to conduct strategic searches of this area, throughout the remainder of the day and tomorrow. I'll take just a couple brief questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you're asking for clothing, does that mean the body was naked?

GEE: I'm not going to say anything about the condition of her body other than I -- continue to look for any clothing that would fit her description. And I'm not going to say anything else about the condition of the body.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was there a green cast then?

GEE: Yes. She -- yes, the green cast is apparent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any idea she'd been in the water?

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: Thank you.

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: We continue to pursue that angle. We -- I assured the family and I assured the public that we will do everything within our power to bring the person or persons responsible to justice, and that's the focus right now. (OFF MIKE)

GEE: When I'm ready to put the handcuffs on him. Yes, sir? I had another question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Sarah was not a small girl based on the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of her body. Does that mean (UNINTELLIGIBLE) easy to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) her with that body?

GEE: No, it would have been easy, but it's certainly possible for one person, and I haven't excluded that there are other suspects, and again, continue to -- not to exclude anybody as a suspect at this time.

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: I'd say for an extended period of time. It's been several days and I believe there's a good possibility that around the time of her disappearance that she had been there probably soon after that.

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: Well, it's certainly any time that the body is exposed to the elements for any period of time it does complicate matters.

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: Well, too early into that right now. I hope -- I certainly hope so and I believe that, you know, we eventually will locate enough evidence to charge the person.

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: No comment as to who the suspect or any evidence we have on any suspects at this time.

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: The family is very distraught, obviously. It's a tough time for them and we're trying to assist them in dealing with this. And so...

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: I don't think there's much question of that, yes. Ok, thank you very much. We appreciate all the help. I want to thank -- there were over 20 law enforcement agencies that were involved in this and 22 search and rescue teams from across the state. Now, I want to -- on behalf of our department, I want to thank everybody for all the help, all of the support.

(OFF MIKE)

GEE: I'm not going to comment on that. I'm going to wait for the medical examiner to give us a report. That'll come from him. Thank you. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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