Day 1: Hundreds begin massive search in Traci Kegley case

Day 1: Hundreds begin massive search in Traci Kegley case
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Traci Kegley has been missing since 1998. (Source: Kegley family)
Traci Kegley has been missing since 1998. (Source: Kegley family)

ELMORE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Monday was day one of the search for Traci Kegley in rural Elmore County.

Early Monday morning, upwards of 200 officers and search team members hit the ground in what's being described as an unprecedented search for evidence tied to one of Elmore County's most high-profile missing persons cases.

Sunday, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant, securing 300 acres of land to search for evidence that could lead to a break in this decades-old cold case. A command post was established in the Friendship community.

On Monday, search teams covered more than 450 miles of the 300 acres and called the day a success.

Tracking teams searched on land and in the water Monday. They are also using live mapping, which shows every team member's location in the search - and exactly where they've been inside the area. Drones with infrared technology were also used to search.

Tuesday, search teams will take the cadaver dogs back out, then they will transition to a search on foot.

Experts say this is likely one of the largest land searches that's ever been conducted in the southeast.

The rural area in Elmore County has never been searched in related to Kegley's disappearance, according to District Attorney Randall Houston.

Investigators received information from a confidential source during a CrimeStoppers action line with WSFA 12 News in 2015. After developing those leads, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency began pulling together this monumental search operation, which officially kicked off Monday.

The command post and the search area are not near the location where Kegley's car was found in 1998.

Kegley, then 30, left her home in Eclectic on April 26, 1998, and never returned. She was last seen at a service station on Highway 231 and Redland Road.

The following day, Kegley's car, a 1993 Geo Storm, was found abandoned on Old Georgia Road (County Road 170) across from the T&H Grocery with Kegley's 2-year-old daughter inside. The child was unharmed.

The district attorney believes the people responsible for Kegley's disappearance are still in Elmore County, and he won't stop until this case is solved.

$11,000 of reward money is being offered to anyone who can help police arrest and convict those responsible for Kegley's disappearance.  If you have information, call CrimeStoppers at 334-215-STOP.

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