Officials searched an area west of Ellensburg for evidence related to the Lindsey Baum homicide case, Kittitas County Undersheriff Clay Myers confirmed Saturday.
Baum was just shy of her 11th birthday when she disappeared in McCleary, Wash., on June 26, 2009. Nine years later, Grays Harbor County Sheriff's officials announced this week her remains were found in 2017 in a remote area in eastern Washington.
Undersheriff Myers confirmed the remains were found in Kittitas County last fall.
"The goal right now is two fold: it's to collect evidence for the criminal investigation and two it's to help bring closure to the family and the friends," said Myers.
Saturday's search focused on a large area located about 20 miles west of Ellensburg. Myers described it as steep, heavily timbered with large cliffs and deep ravines.
"It's a tough area. There's a lot of animal activity," he said. "It's rough terrain."
The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says investigators conducted an initial search when the remains were found last fall, but snow kept officers from doing a complete search of the area.
"This was really the first opportunity to get up in there and get a thorough search," said Myers.
Now that the snow has melted, officers returned to the scene with 22 K-9 teams, Search and Rescue ground personnel and investigators from Kittitas County, King County and Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Offices.
On Saturday, aerials views above Manastash Road west of Ellensburg from SkyKING showed an active search in a wooded area, with ground crews and several vehicles. The Kittitas County coroner was also at the scene, which is blocked off to the public.
"It's humbling to see the level of support for this case. These search teams and investigators are among the best there are and they understand the relevance to the investigation, the family and the community. To watch them work, you would never guess they come from over 10 different agencies," said Myers.
The search came at the request of the Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office and the FBI.