BURKE COUNTY, N.C. -- Late Wednesday afternoon, firetrucks arrived at an area that police and canine units have been searching in connection with the disappearance of Zahra Baker. Crews unrolled hoses and started draining a pond on the property they've been searching for the past two days.
Hickory police say officers, search dogs involved in previous efforts and additional search dogs returned to and expanded the search area on Wednesday afternoon.
But nearly five hours later, with the pond empty, police were still left trying to figure out where Zahra Baker is.
Tuesday, they focused investigation efforts on one area, near a brush pile.
Burke County Sheriff John McDevitt said approximately 50 investigators were on scene Tuesday, watching as a backhoe cleared brush.
The land searched belongs to the family of a foreman at the tree trimming company where Zahra's father, Adam, works. It is an area where mulch, wood chips, and heavy equipment are all stored.
Bobby Green, a former employee of the company, says Baker would have had access there.
Alvin Webb, who lives next door, told NewsChannel 36 a deputy told him a cadaver dog smelled human remains on a mulch pile and on a wood chipper on the property. McDevitt said Tuesday night there have been many hits but none that he would call conclusive.
This is not the only area police are investigating. Officers say they have investigators checking into different addresses where the Baker's have lived as well as officers searching in two other counties. A number of leads have been called in, and officers say they're following up on every tip.