Search of wooded area in West Mifflin yields no clues in teen's disappearance
A search of several acres around the Allegheny County Airport on Thursday turned up a bone — possibly human — and a T-shirt, but no clues into the disappearance of a woman more than two years ago, police said.
Allegheny County Police, West Mifflin police, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office and others spent more than five hours searching about 35 acres north, west and east of the airport for signs of Alivia Kail, 19, who was last seen on March 4, 2011, leaving her brother's West Mifflin home.
She had picked up some clothes and said she was planning to go to Florida with a friend, Alexander Lorenzi, then 22.
Lorenzi, questioned by police at the time, was not charged with any crime in connection with her disappearance. He could not be reached.
Cadaver dogs alerted to two spots during Thursday's search but officers found only a small T-shirt, County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman said.
“We came up empty,” Schurman said. “On some level, it's disappointing. We don't get our hopes up too high.”
Detectives interviewed dozens of people since Kail's disappearance, Schurman said. The results of those interviews and information retrieved from devices such as cellphones, caused investigators to search the areas, Schurman said. He wouldn't give details.
Kail's relatives and cadets from the police academy were among the 86 people participating.
“I just want to get her back,” said Kail's mother, Christine DiDano.
Schurman said police have several suspects in the case but would not elaborate.
“We'll continue with our investigation,” he said.
Police did discover animal bones and will send one fragment, possibly human, to be analyzed at the Allegheny County Crime Lab.
DiDano said she was hopeful when the search began and remained positive when it ended.
“This isn't a loss at all,” DiDano said. “This is just a beginning. I do believe the truth will place itself forward.”
After Kail disappeared, police found a bag of her clothing in a pickup parked inside Lorenzi's garage, along with three spent shell casings, a cooler loaded with ice and food, earrings, fishnet stockings, a white sheet with a possible bloodstain, and a Feb. 27 plane ticket from Pittsburgh to Fort Myers, according to a search warrant.
Police said they believed Lorenzi was not cooperating and knew more about Kail's disappearance.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.