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Friday, September 12, 2008

Mary Badaracco missing 24 years-New Search Using Electromagnetic Imaging Device

By Dirk Perrefort
Article Last Updated: 09/09/2008 06:52:57 AM EDT

NEW FAIRFIELD -- The investigation of a woman's disappearance 24 years ago -- now considered a homicide -- picked up steam Monday as police used ground-penetrating radar to search a property near Ball Pond.
Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, confirmed that investigators were executing a search warrant at a home on Sunswept Drive in connection to the Mary Badaracco case.

Ground-penetrating radar, according to State Archaeologist Nick Bellantoni, can find a variety of features underneath the surface. Bellantoni has assisted state and local police in past investigations that involved use of the technology.

He said the sled-like device, which is pulled along the ground, uses short wave radio signals to locate solid objects under the surface, including metal pipes and coffins, as well as soil anomalies, such as a hole previously dug and filled in.

"For example, if there are only skeletal remains, it wouldn't pick up the body, but it will record the disturbance or the burial feature," he said. "Basically, what it does is say there is something under the surface that is an anomaly. To find out what that anomaly is would require further excavations."

He added that investigators using ground-penetrating radar often use flags to determine the grid of the search area. They may also be used if anomalies are found that warrant further investigation.

Vance said the owners of the home on Sunswept Drive have been extremely cooperative with investigators.

Stephen Logan, who owns the home, declined to comment Monday.

Vance urged anyone with information in the case to call state police at (203) 267-2200.

Contact Dirk Perrefort at dperrefort@newstimes.com or at (203) 731-3358.

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