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Authorities search for SE Washington woman

MONDAY, AUG. 2, 2010, 8:31 A.M.

LEWISTON — Authorities continue to scour the Palouse region in hopes of discovering what happened to a missing southeastern Washington woman whose estranged husband was jailed on separate weapons charges.

Rachael Anderson, 41, of Clarkston, was last seen April 16 by Charles A. Capone, the Moscow man she was in the process of divorcing.

Late last week, members of a task force gathered near Colton, Wash., driving from farmhouse to farmhouse with search dogs. There’s a report that a white SUV — similar to the one Anderson was driving — was seen driving along Colton’s rural roads about the time she disappeared.

“I’m going to keep looking and looking,” Asotin County sheriff’s Detective Jackie Nichols told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News as she searched an old homestead in rural Whitman County.

“If I was a family member, I’d want someone to keep looking,” Nichols said. “More than anything, I want to resolve this for the family.”

Charles Capone, 48, has pleaded guilty in federal court to unlawful possession of a firearm. Authorities said he hasn’t provided many details about his wife since his lawyers became involved.

He’s considered a person of interest in her disappearance.

Anderson filed for divorce in January after she said Capone choked and shoved her; according to court documents, Capone told a friend he carried a gun while following his wife in February to determine whether she was seeing someone else.

In addition, Capone served time in an Idaho prison after a felony burglary and aggravated assault conviction stemming from a 1997 incident where a woman accused him of threatening her with a knife. In that incident in Latah County, court records say Capone broke into the woman’s bedroom.

Last Friday, the caravan of unmarked vehicles that carried special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Moscow Police Department, the Latah County sheriff’s office and two cadaver dogs left a trail of dust as they drove southeastern Washington’s back roads.

Nichols knocked on the doors of farmhouses, asking residents if they’d seen anything suspicious around the time of Anderson’s disappearance. She asked if they noticed any fresh digging, tire tracks or burn marks and inquired about abandoned silos, root cellars, ponds or old garbage dumps.

“We’re looking for any evidence or information we can find,” she said. “We’re looking for places a body could be concealed.”

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