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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Latest K9 Search Result

COOS BAY — A renowned international search and rescue team has joined the search for Holly Berry. The team of two dog handlers came to Coos Bay from Longview, Wash. on Monday and searched the thick brush and lakes throughout John Toppits Park, but found nothing. Harry Oakes, who started the international K-9 search and rescue squad, said his team was in Coos Bay days after Berry went missing, but harsh weather conditions made the search difficult. 'Ninety-nine percent of the time we can come up with something for the police to follow up on," Oakes said. 'In this case, I am sitting here scratching my head." Oakes said he has worked 1,843 missing person cases since 1986, including high-profile homicide cases like the Ward Weaver double-homicide in Oregon City. Oakes said his dogs helped find the two victims hidden on Weaver's property. Berry's family hired Oakes, with financial help from the community, to try and shed new light on a case that seems to have hit a wall. 'For him to have inconclusive results is unusual," Berry's stepfather, Jay Maxner, said. 'He wanted to come back and search Empire lakes. His dogs can detect bodies underwater." Berry's family has set up a reward fund starting with $1,000 for tips that lead to her whereabouts. Maxner said people are struggling to make sense of the 34-year-old's disappearance. 'Everybody is taking it really hard," he said. 'Not only the family, but everybody in the community. Holly has a big impact on people. She touches a lot of people and they are all pretty shook up." Police say they have no evidence one way or the other to suggest foul play was involved. Coos Bay Police Sgt. Eric Schwenninger said police will continue to search for Berry and 59-year-old Glenda Campbell, who went missing in November around the same area as Berry, until they bring them home to their families. 'These cases will remain open," he said. 'Glenda Campbell's case will remain open until we find her. This will be an open case until we find Holly." Maxner said his family is hoping for the best and preparing for the worst as the search for Berry reaches it's 12th day without any promising leads. 'Its very unlikely she would (commit suicide) or runaway," he said. 'It's a horrible tragedy, especially if she met foul play." Oakes and his team will continue to search multiple areas around Coos Bay today. Reporter Tyler Richardson can be reached at 541 269 1222 ext. 236 or at

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