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Search ongoing today for Cortney Lake


Searchers are still on the scene this afternoon (Friday) in Bellevue Beach, about an hour outside St. John’s, in the case of missing Mount Pearl woman Cortney Lake as police lead a major search.

New information obtained by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has led to the major search in an area known as Smallwoods Farm in the community.

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) Sgt. Paul Didham, RNC ground search co-ordinator, said that if the search needs to continue into Saturday, they will maintain the scene with officers on site overnight.

Some 80 searchers representing various search groups are doing the extensive search of the area.

Should it continue, many more searchers will be on the scene tomorrow, added Didham.

Searching at the abandoned farm are representatives of the Central Avalon Holyrood Ground Search and Rescue, The Wolverines and Triple Bay Eagles, The Rovers Ground Search and Rescue and searchers from the Burin Peninsula

In a news conference in November, the lead investigator into Lake’s disappearance, RNC Insp. Tommy Warren said Smith was the only suspect in her disappearance, determined by police to be a homicide.

Lake, 24, disappeared June 7 and police believe she was murdered. The last time she was seen was when she was getting into Philip Smith’s pickup around 7:30 p.m. that night near her Mount Pearl home.

Smith’s body was found early on Nov. 1 in a wooded area behind his father’s cabin at Bellevue Beach. The 25-year-old committed suicide.

Didham told media today he is unable to provide any details at this time, but if he can later today, they an update will be provided.

The area is closed off to the general public by police and they are also asking for the people to stay away from the scene.

A search and rescue helicopter is also hovering over the area and the RNC are also using their drone to do aerial searches as well.

jgibbons@thetelegram.com

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