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COLUMBIANA Case of missing woman hits a wall



Published: Tue, September 4, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Authorities have monitored a homicide probe in Jefferson County but find no connection with the missing woman.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- It's been nearly three months to the day since Tracy Hill of Middleton Township was last seen, and authorities seem no closer to finding her.

"We're at a standstill," Sgt. Allen Young of the Columbiana County Sheriff's Department, said recently of the case.

Investigators insist that until they have evidence otherwise, Hill, 24, is still considered missing.

But authorities haven't ruled out the fact that she may be dead and that foul play could be involved.

Investigators here have closely watched a homicide case in which two Jefferson County men are accused in the death of a Steubenville woman.

One of the suspects, Steven Moorehead, 39, of Brilliant, has told authorities that he has killed at least six people.

"As far as we can tell, that's unrelated," Young said of any connection between Hill's disappearance and Moorehead's contention.

Recent efforts: Several of the search efforts for Hill this summer have focused on finding a body.

Earlier this month, county authorities sent dental records and medical information to Ross County to see if the material matched an unidentified body found there Aug. 16.

The body, burned and wrapped in plastic, was not Hill's.

In late July, investigators scoured Guilford Lake, west of Lisbon, after specially trained dogs detected the scent of a body beneath its surface.

The search proved, fruitless, however.

Trial date: Hill's estranged husband, Clifford, 32, of Guilford Lake, was to have gone on trial today on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The trial has been postponed, however, until Oct. 2.

Police said Hill was arrested June 18 in Guilford Lake in possession of a car used by his estranged wife. The car belongs to Tracy's mother, who said he did not have her permission to use it.

Hill has been in jail while the case is pending. Authorities have not identified him as a suspect in his wife's disappearance.




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