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CRIME Mother returns to Ohio, Pa., to search for bodies



Published: Tue, July 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Aided by the Fox News network, Teri Knight is continuing her investigation.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Less than a week after an exhausting 2,200-mile drive through the Midwest in search of her murdered children, Teri Knight flew back to the area during the weekend as a guest of a national TV network, and found a promising search area.

"It was an area we wanted to spend more time in, and they let me pick the spot," Knight said on Monday.

The Fox News network flew Knight and her husband, Jim, to Cleveland on Saturday. The Knights drove 200 to 300 miles along Interstate 80 in Ohio and Pennsylvania, then flew back home.

Knight has been trying to rekindle public interest in the search for the bodies of her children, Sarah and Philip, who were murdered two summers ago by their father, her ex-husband. Manuel Gehring told police he buried the children somewhere along a 700-mile stretch of the interstate from Pennsylvania and Iowa, but he could not pinpoint the spot, and killed himself in jail last year.

This month, Knight spent nearly a week driving along the route, checking out suspected burial sites, and conducting media interviews to refocus public attention on the search.

She hopes her efforts, and the release of an FBI audiotape of Gehring describing the burial site, will prompt tips that will lead police to the graves.

Distinguishing landmarks

Gehring spoke of tall grass, concrete pipes, a wire fence, an old water pump and a yellowish building in sight of the graves, which he said were near the interstate.

Knight said she has been interested in the area between western Pennsylvania and Cleveland.

"There is a very interesting site in Pennsylvania that I'm going to be doing a little more research on," she said Monday. The area, near Barkeyville, Pa., contained landmarks Gehring mentioned, though the clues were spread out more than Knight anticipated.

"There was a road that was a mile long, but everything was on that road," she said.

Barkeyville, about 55 miles north of Pittsburgh, is near Grove City, Pa., where Gehring bought a pickax, shovel, gloves, duct tape and garbage bags. If the children are buried in that area, it would mean Gehring doubled back after buying the tools, a theory some investigators have considered, then continued his westward drive to California, where he was arrested.

She is considering hiring a private investigator to look more closely into the area, something she cannot do from home.

She also plans to contact businesses near the sites she visited with Fox during the weekend to try to find area residents who can search more closely than she was able to.




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