Experts give their take on search of missing women

Experts give their take on search of missing women
Dana Marie Woods (left) and June Guerry. (Source: BCSO)
Dana Marie Woods (left) and June Guerry. (Source: BCSO)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Hope turned to heartbreak for the families of two Berkeley County women when their bodies were found in the Francis Marion forest.

After they were reported missing, sheriff's investigators initially said there was no evidence of foul play, so they did not search immediately.

The next day, 18-year-old Dana Woods was found dead in Cordesville.

Yesterday, the body of 22-year-old June Guerry was found ten miles away from Woods.

Charleston Southern University Criminal Justice Professor Jacqueline Fish says when people are reported missing, cops should react right away.

"It's not a tough call," says Fish. "If we're not all in this together, then how many people could go missing that no one would ever report?"

Private eye Howie Comen says the decision to search comes down to the circumstances of the case.

"If it is unusual for that person not to come home at a particular time, then they have to move on it," says Comen. "But again, police departments don't unless they have some evidence.

Some police officers who were spoken to for this report said the old school of thought when it came to missing people was in the case of child, you search right away. But in the case of an adult, you wait 24 hours.

But now, they say that theory is out the window.

Comen said some police departments are strapped for cash and can't search at the drop of a hat.

"It's a question of where you're gonna spend your man power or women power," said Comen.

But Professor Fish says that is no excuse.

"In today's world, police officers, the technology out there, you can spread the word. You can put the bolo's out there, be on the lookout," says Fish. "You can go ahead and do that and it's not costing you anything, and you may save someone's life."

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