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Denise Pflum case is far from cold

By KATE THURSTON - kthurston@newsexaminer.com

Although the disappearance of Denise Pflum has been quiet for the last month or so, law enforcement is still actively working behind the scenes.

“The investigation at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary has not concluded,” Sheriff Joey Laughlin stated in answer to a question from the Connersville News-Examiner.

An investigation started at a pond in the bird sanctuary months back. Investigators had received information indicating that Denise Pflum might have been taken there prior to her disapperance. 

“An initial search was conducted with the assistance of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team. After searching one area of the pond, a determination was made to allow the pond bed to continue to dry out with colder temperatures approaching and allowing the bed to solidify,” Laughlin explained. “This is to allow the cadaver K9s and other instruments to be able to be used (including ground penetrating radar), in the hopes of locating the exact location of the scent the dogs are indicating on.”

The departments are still following up on this and other leads.

About four months ago, Detective Rick Wilcox had contacted the Indiana Department of Homeland Security about using their K-9 unit in the search of the pond. The dogs detected a strong indication of human remains.

“We will follow up on all leads and will continue to do so. Besides the indications of five separate K9s, other information provided has continued to make this location a high priority in our investigation into the Denise Pflum case,” Laughlin said. “I have been in daily contact with the Pflum family and they are aware of the status of the search.”

Pflum went missing at the age of 18 near the Rush/Fayette county line on March 28, 1986. Pflum has been missing for 32 years.

Anyone with information on the case may contact Laughlin at 765-825-1110 ext. 604 or email jlaughlin@co.fayette.in.us.

There still is a $25,000 reward leading to the exact location of Pflum’s remains or, if she is alive, where she is.

Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary is still open to the public, although the trail to the pond is blocked off. Caretaker Carl Wilms gave consent to conduct the investigation, the sheriff said.