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Doll, Door Clues In Girl Search

The search for a 9-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom resumed Sunday with torrential rains hindering the intensive hunt.

Hundreds of police and volunteers have turned out to search for Jessica Marie Lunsford, who was last seen Wednesday night when her grandmother tucked her into bed. The next morning, her father discovered she was gone.

Authorities have few clues. Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy has said a door at the home was unlocked and one of Jessie's dolls was gone.

The clothes she had laid out for school were still in place, and none of her shoes were gone.

Police have scoured the wooded neighborhood around her house, but Dawsy said the girl's disappearance is not a confirmed abduction, and he hasn't ruled out anything.

"We don't have anything specific to work on," Dawsy said. "We have received an awful lot of leads. More than anything, we have taken some of those leads and put them away."

As dawn broke Sunday, rain was falling across the region. Forecasts called for strong thunderstorms to drop as much as 2 inches by nightfall.

"The weather has not been beneficial to my investigation at all," Dawsy said.

The night after Jessie disappearance was reported, fog grounded a helicopter that would have searched the area with infrared radar.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Hampton, a Homosassa native, and his wife Katia put up a $25,000 reward for Jessie's return.

Jessica lives in the house with her father and his parents.

She was last seen by her grandparents, before she went to bed Wednesday night. They said they put her to bed after she returned from a church function.

Her father told authorities he had returned Thursday morning from a girlfriend's home, coming in through the locked back door as he usually does, and was getting ready for work when he realized his daughter's alarm clock was sounding and she wasn't there.

Dawsy said Lunsford's story checked out.

Mark Lunsford said his daughter had had little contact with her mother, who Dawsy said had been in Ohio and was being interviewed by the FBI. Michael Brooks, an FBI spokesman in Cincinnati, would not comment on what the FBI discussed with Angela Bryant but said she had not been arrested or detained.

"I don't know where she is," Bryant, 31, of Morrow, Ohio, told The Associated Press in a tearful telephone interview Friday.

Bryant, who has remarried and has a 5-year-old son, added that she hadn't seen her daughter for four years. "Her dad didn't let me see her," she said.

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