FRANKLIN COUNTY, Kan. - The search for a missing 18-month-old girl will be scaled down, Franklin County authorities announced at a news conference Saturday.
Lana Bailey and her 21-year-old mother, Kaylie, were reported missing May 3. Kaylie's body was found on a farm in rural Ottawa Tuesday, along with the bodies of two men.
Police say Lana is presumed dead.
Kyle Flack, 27, was charged Friday in the deaths of the four victims. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
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Investigators said Saturday they have followed more than 400 leads in the case. They have searched the area by chopper, horseback, ATV and foot. They are using boats and sonar equipment while scouring ponds and other waterways in the area near the farm. Richard said they are also looking near bridges along Interstate 35.
Sheriff Jeff Richards said if Lana is dead, her body could be anywhere between Ottawa and Emporia, which is 55 miles from the crime scene.
Richards said the search has been emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting. He said that – while the decision was a difficult one to make – crews will break Sunday to get the needed rest in order to be effective in their search. However, they will still follow important leads that may come over the weekend.
Moving forward Monday, crews will do more targeted searches in smaller groups. Since Thursday, more than 150 officers have been looking for Lana at a time. Richards says that will now be reduced to around 50.
Meanwhile, family and friends mourn the loss of the victims.
"It's really hurting. Everybody is feeling the hurt. It's very unusual for something like this to happen in a small town like Ottawa," said resident Tina Briggs.
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Flack was also charged with two counts of capital murder, one count of rape and one count of criminal possession of a firearm. The capital murder charges will give prosecutors the option of pursuing the death penalty, but they said in a news conference Friday that decision has not yet been made.
Flack has been in custody since early Wednesday morning.
The two other victims found at the farm were 30-year-old Andrew Stout and 31-year-old Steven White.
Friends who went to check on Stout found Bailey's body and called 911 on Monday. Authorities later found Stout's body as well as White's. Stout and White both lived on the farm, and Bailey had gone there to drop Lana off with Stout before she went to work.
White was killed between April 20 and April 28, and Bailey, her daughter and Stout were killed between April 28 and Monday, according to the criminal complaint.
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