Saturday, October 23, 2004

Psychic to help in Oxford case



By Matt Leingang
Enquirer staff writer

[photo]
Charles E. Capel
OXFORD - Information from a "psychic detective" will help Oxford police search Sunday for a retired Miami University professor who's been missing more than five months.

Noreen Renier, 67, a Virginia woman who assisted in the hunt for Laci Peterson and claims to have participated in 400 police investigations over 25 years, told Oxford police this month that she believes Charles E. Capel is within eight walking-minutes of his house.

Capel, an 81-year-old retired mathematics professor who has Alzheimer's disease, left his house sometime before 8 a.m. May 21.

Oxford police are stymied by the lack of clues in the case. They hired Renier several weeks ago with permission from the Capel family, said Sgt. Jim Squance.

Police mailed Renier a map of Ohio and some of Capel's personal items, including a pair of white sneakers and several toothbrushes.

Speaking from her home near Charlottesville, Va., Renier said her methods involve "reading" objects that missing people leave behind.

Turning to a psychic is unconventional but worth a shot, Oxford police said.

With or without Renier's help, Oxford police had intended to resume searching for Capel this fall, once the leaves had fallen from trees and field brush had dried up, increasing visibility.

Previous searches in May and June covering a 10-mile radius around the Capel house turned up nothing.

The search for Charles E. Capel begins 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Police ask that volunteers register beforehand at www.cityofoxford.org.

Police seek volunteers who are at least 18 and are capable of walking through dense brush and over rough terrain. Other volunteers are needed to assist with registration.

They should contact Lt. Bob Holzworth at (513) 524-5247. Sunday, volunteers will gather in the parking lot of the Miami University Credit Union, 420 Wells Mill Drive, Oxford. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m.

E-mail mleingang@enquirer.com




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