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West Virginia Authorities Say Missing 3-Year-Old May Still Be Alive

Four days after a 3-year-old West Virginia girl disappeared from her home, local authorities were working with federal and state agencies Tuesday to determine what the next steps in their search should be.

FBI Special Agent John Hambrick told reporters during a brief press conference that investigators are reviewing the work they have done so far in the hunt for Aliayah Lunsford and “getting organized to look at what we need to go back over.”

“We’re doing our level best to advance this case,” Hambrick said, though he provided very few details about what progress has been made.

“The specifics of our investigation, we’re not going to discuss in the public forum right now,” he said.

Other than describing the search area as a “very confined” one developed based on past experience and scientific data, Hambrick would not talk about where the search is focused or whether any suspects have been identified in Aliayah’s disappearance.

However, he did say, “We are still operating under the possibility that she is alive…We know it’s possible.”

The girl’s mother told police that the she was last seen in their Weston home around 6:30 am on Saturday wearing purple “Dora the Explorer” pajamas and a pink sweatshirt. Family members have said they do not believe Aliayah would have wandered off alone or willingly gone with a stranger.

More than 1,000 volunteers have participated in the search, along with divers and K-9 teams. A Lewis County Sheriff’s Office official said the assistance from the public in the case has been “outstanding.”

Anyone with information about Aliayah Lunsford’s disappearance is asked to contact Lewis County Dispatch at (304) 269-8241.

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