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Police temporarily suspend search for 4-year-old Utah girl

Posted at 5:39 PM, Mar 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 20:41:57-04

ANETH, UT — After three unsuccessful days of ground and water searches, authorities said Sunday they were temporarily suspending the search for a 4-year-old girl missing since last week on the Utah portion of the Navajo Nation.

In a statement, the Navajo Police Department said a pause in the search effort will allow authorities to "organize and secure additional resources for subsequent search efforts."

Community volunteers will continue organizing search teams, and police officers will remain in the area to investigate any leads in the case, according to the statement.

Anndine Jones reportedly wandered away Thursday afternoon from her home, located 3 miles north of the Aneth Utah Chapter House.

Police originally listed her age as 3, but Sunday's missing person advisory had it at 4. Police didn't immediately explain the discrepancy.

Initial search efforts focused along the McElmo Creek that feeds into the San Juan River, a tributary of the Colorado River that flows into Lake Powell.

Police said the girl's footprints were found along the creek, which was searched by boat teams, divers and drones.

More than 100 volunteers searched Saturday for Jones on foot along 8 miles (13 kilometers) of the riverbed west of Aneth.

Boat crews from county, state and federal agencies covered 24 miles (39 kilometers) of the San Juan River.

Police said there are no indications that the girl was abducted, so the Navajo Nation Amber Alert system wasn't activated. But she is listed as a missing person with the National Crime Information Center.