SEATTLE — Authorities in Washington state on Wednesday resumed their search for a woman who appears to have abandoned a van on a remote Puget Sound beach over the weekend and disappeared with her 8-year-old son.
A boat is searching the Boston Harbor area with a bloodhound on board to try to pick up the scent of Shantina “Kat” Smiley and her son Azriel Carver, said Lt. Chris Mealy of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Dogs are also searching the roads and the area surrounding the beach.
The search was back on Wednesday afternoon after someone in the area recovered several items that washed up on the beach overnight.
The items included two mismatched leather shoes, a half-full and corked wine bottle, an inhaler and an orange ball, Mealy said.
He said one of the shoes could be a child’s shoe. He added that the 29-year-old Smiley purchased a bottle of wine during her travels around Olympia on Saturday night.
Investigators planned to ask Smiley’s fiance, Robb Simmons, if he can determine whether any of the items belonged to Smiley or her son.
The search and rescue operation was called off Wednesday morning when detectives didn’t turn up any solid leads and turned their focus toward other segments of the investigation.
“We’re working on a bunch of different theories. We really haven’t closed any possibilities yet,” Mealy said. “We’re not leaning toward one theory or another right now.”
It’s still possible the woman and her son went into the water of Puget Sound, but if they did, Mealy said, they could be anywhere in the region because of the ferocity of the current.
“We will find her,” he said. “I hope we find her alive and well.”
Meanwhile, the boy’s father has arrived in Washington to look for them.
Jay Carver arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from New York late Tuesday and drove to Olympia, where his former partner and their son were last seen Saturday night.
Carver told Seattle television stations he’s frazzled and wants to get out in the woods and start looking for Smiley and their son.
Smiley was en route from her Kitsap County home to her stepfather’s house in southwest Washington when they vanished Saturday night. Silverdale is about 16 miles west of Seattle, across the Puget Sound.
The van Smiley drove was found Sunday, abandoned and partially submerged in water on a remote Puget Sound beach in the Olympia area.
Investigators were looking at phone records and talking to people who know Smiley or her son and those who may have met her as she drove through the back roads of Washington state on Saturday night. Her fiance, Robb Simmons, said Tuesday that Smiley is a recovering alcoholic who relapsed last week, KING-TV reported.
Simmons said she had been under stress lately. He had been having health issues and fears he might have cancer, and suggested this past week that they get married, he said.
But he said he doesn’t believe the relapse played any role in her disappearance.