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Search of Des Moines Basement Turns up Empty

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police searching for the remains of a woman missing the past 54 years found nothing in the search of a Des Moines basement.

Officers checked the home Monday on relatives’ tips about Darlene Fitchett, who has been missing since 1960. Relatives told police they strongly believe Fitchett was killed and buried in the home’s basement.

Two ground-penetrating radar scans last fall seemed to show an unexpected space under the basement. Police crews broke up the concrete on Monday, but officers and cadaver dogs found nothing. More holes were drilled around the basement, but the dogs found nothing.

The current owners of the house bought it in July 2013. Police say the owners have been cooperative.

Sgt. Steve Woody says police will pay for the excavation, repairs and cleanup.

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