With rumors about the disappearance of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt running rampant, positive identification of a body outside of Great Bend Tuesday afternoon won’t be made until sometime today, said Kansas Attorney General’s Office spokesman Gavin Young.
The body, found five miles west of town in the U.S. 56-Dundee area near the Venture asphalt plant, was taken to Wichita Tuesday for an autopsy. However, it was unidentifiable except through dental records and it wasn’t until Wednesday evening that qualified personnel could be brought in for the testing, Young said.
Young wouldn’t comment on why the body was not recognizable.
In the meantime, local and state law enforcement officers used divers, dogs and aircraft to search the area where the body was located searching for evidence, authorities said.
Young said there is no one in custody, and there are no persons of interest in connection with the DeBolt case or the remains found Tuesday. However, when asked if there was anyone still at large, he said the investigation was on-going.
Great Bend Police Chief Dean Akings did say they are continuing to conduct numerous interviews.
Alicia was last seen at about 11 p.m. Saturday when she left her house at 910 Stone to attend a party in southeast Great Bend with 19-year-old male. DeBolt’s mother Tammy Conrad new of her plans and is convinced she did not run-away.
After attempts to contact DeBolt, family members reported her missing to the Great Bend Police Department late Sunday morning. The GBPD contacted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation which is assisting. The probe now also involves the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the Barton County attorney’s office.
Amid reports that DeBolt’s family has received confirmation that the body was indeed that of DeBolt, Unified School District 428 is preparing for the worst. DeBolt would have been a freshman and a cheerleader at GBHS.
Great Bend High School guidance counselors will become grief counselors in the coming days, weeks and even months, if necessary, as friends and classmates of DeBolt cope with what has happened.
Tim Friess, principal, said an emergency plan is in place to help high school students cope with a loss. High school counselors are prepared to deal with issues that impact students and their school day.
In DeBolt’s honor Wednesday, several girl students at GBHS wore purple and pink and several boys wore black.
Family friends Crystal Brown and Kristi Dewitt have organized a prayer vigil and prayer chain for 8 p.m. Sunday at Jack Kilby Square in downtown Great Bend in DeBolt’s honor. Participants are encouraged to bring a candle to light in her honor.
Anyone with information is urged to call 1-800-KS-CRIME, the GBPD at 620-793-4120, 911, or Crime Stoppers at 620-792-1300 or 888-305-1300