“We’ve also gone through a lot of the neighbors’ backyards and we’ve gone through pools and things like that, too,” Perlich said. “We’re taking all those types of steps and checking and re-checking all of those types of places to make sure nothing has been missed.”
There’s no indication that an animal was connected in any way to the girl’s disappearance, despite Mathews’ statements to investigators, Perlich said. The most recent animal disturbance reported to authorities in the immediate vicinity involved a fox three years ago, he said.
Officials from Child Protective Services removed another child from the home, a 4-year-old girl who is Mathews’ biological daughter. She has been placed in foster care.