BY JOHN HOPKINS
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BLANCHESTER -- Investigators will continue draining a large pond today, apparently looking for clues in the 1996 disappearance of Carrie Culberson.
Residents gathered Wednesday along the edge of the pond, a few miles from the Culberson home, waiting for any word. The pond, about 300 feet by 100 feet, was dragged and probed at least once about the time of the trial of Vincent Doan, who was convicted of killing Ms. Culberson.
Her body has never been found.
The latest search began about 8:45 a.m., with members of the Blanchester-Marion Township Fire District called in to drain the water. They planned to call it quits Wednesday night, and resume this morning.
Investigators had searched many ponds in the area, and drained at least one other, said Ms. Culberson's mother, Debra Culberson. Sitting on picnic tables, she and neighbors watched the slow recession of the murky waters Wednesday.
Clinton County Prosecutor William Peelle said he was not notified when the draining began Wednesday morning, but added there was nothing new to report in Ms. Culberson's disappearance.
The draining was mostly a precaution, because others in the area had been drained, and this one had not, he said.
The pond is located 200 to 300 feet off Bourbon Street and is hidden by several hundred yards of woods. Firefighters were using 6-inch-diameter hoses to drain the water into nearby crop fields.
Fire Chief Donald Walker said the Clinton County sheriff's office had asked his department to drain the pond.
By 8:30 p.m., he said, about 326,000 gallons had been drained from the pond, which he estimated was 9 to 11 feet deep and contained about 1 million gallons of water.
Today, he said, "We're going to get together with the sheriff's department and see where we go from here."