UPDATE: According to the Kingsport Police Department, no evidence was found during the search. Authorities will reportedly conduct more searches in the future.
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Several local agencies are conducting a search for missing 21-year-old Layla Santanello on Tuesday.
The Kingsport Police Department (KPD) and other agencies will search the area of East Stone Commons and E. Stone Drive for evidence connected to Santanello’s disappearance.
Santanello was last seen on June 27 around the East Stone Commons shopping Center in Kingsport. An Endangered Young Adult Alert was issued by the TBI on August 3.
At 1 p.m., the KPD provided an update on the search to members of the media. During the briefing, members of the KPD said that specialized equipment and technology were being used in the search for Santanello and evidence, along with around 100 first responders.
However, as of 1 p.m., Corporal Brandon Johnson with the KPD said the search of the roughly 320-acre area had not yielded any new evidence.
Lieutenant Justin McConnell said the search was conducted due to the amount of time that has passed in the ongoing investigation into Santanello’s disappearance.
“It’s one of those things where the area has been searched, but to this extent – we haven’t had any additional leads – this extent of a search, we felt like it was time to cover that base as well, given the fact that there’s all sorts of rough terrain and flooded areas throughout the area,” McConnell said.
McConnell said that due to the size of the area searched, it took time to organize a search requiring as many personnel as were being utilized.
According to McConnell, the area was divided into sectors and mixed groups of police and rescue personnel combed each sector. On Tuesday afternoon, McConnell said the department has not definitively decided when the search will end and police did not have any specific type of evidence in mind.
A recording of the KPD press briefing can be viewed below:
Agencies joining the KPD in the search include the following.
- Sullivan County Emergency Management
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
- Kingsport Fire Department
- Kingsport Life Saving Crew
- Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office
- Bristol, Tennessee Fire Department
- Hawkins County Rescue Squad
- Church Hill Rescue Squad
- Washington County, Tennessee Rescue Squad
- Johnson City Fire and Rescue
- Unicoi Rescue Squad
The KPD asks the public to use caution when traveling through the area and to expect a large police presence.
Anyone with information related to Santanello’s whereabouts is asked to call 423-343-9780 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.