Report: Dart’s own expert admits quickie search was insufficient

Ground-penetrating radar equipment

Ground-penetrating radar equipment

In an article on the search that Sheriff Tom Dart says he conducted at Miami and Elston on March 20, 2013, the Verge reveals that the radar expert Dart hired to help admitted that the tests made that day were not conclusive. The technician said he does not agree with Dart’s decision to discontinue the investigation.

If you’ve been following the story, you know that Dart got a search warrant for the property because he agreed the evidence demanded it. He says he visited the site with Rich Graf, a ground-scanning-radar technician, on March 20, and equipment similar to what’s shown above. If Gacy buried any victims there, the ground might still bear signs of digging and equipment such as this is capable fo detecting them.

Dart opted to keep his search a secret, only revealing it after the fact. He then announced that the case at the property was closed. He said he’d continue to try to match Gacy’s DNA with unknown murder victims in other states, but that the tests had demonstrated there was nothing to see at Miami-Elston.

Now, at the Verge, Matt Stroud points out some of the holes in that claim.

Graf himself says his tests can’t be considered conclusive. He offers the opinion that there are no bodies at the Miami property, but when pressed he admits to Stroud that the only way to know is to excavate.

Stroud also spoke to Ron LaBarca, the radar technician who took the readings that led to a discredited search of the same property in 1998. LaBarca, who was incensed about the way that initial investigation was conducted, also tells Stroud: “If you really want to know what’s underground, you gotta dig.”

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