After Celina Cass’ body was found on Monday in the Connecticut River, police have been investigating the cause of death, searching her home – where she was last seen – on Wednesday for answers.
The 11-year-old who went missing on July 25 disappeared from her room late in the evening, where she lived with her biological mother, stepfather, and older sister. Her body was recovered a few days later in the river, close to a hydroelectric dam near her home, local reports revealed.
Though authorities suspected no signs of trouble in the home when the search initially launched according to Fox News, police now believe foul play was involved in the death of the young girl “based on what [they had] seen visually.”
Whether the family members are connected to what appears to be an evolving homicide case still remains unclear.
New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young told The Boston Globe, “Now because we are treating this as a suspicious death, we are going back [to the house] to see if there’s any evidence that could assist in our criminal investigation.”
The Globe reported that police cars were seen outside of the Cass home Wednesday morning, where investigators thoroughly searched for clues. A Ford pickup was also taken from the home, possibly belonging to the stepfather or mother, and perhaps able to provide some answers to the case.
Recent autopsy results yielded no conclusive evidence as of yet, and investigators are waiting to hear back from the toxicology reports.
Although police have yet to identify any suspects, they have questioned the girl’s stepfather Wendell Noyes, who had a history of schizophrenia and was even arrested in 2003 for threatening his ex-girlfriend.
The girl’s biological father, Adam Laro is still alive and told CNN recently that he does not understand why anyone would want to hurt his daughter who he described as “very kind in spirit.”
He told reporters that when he last saw her, she seemed happy both at home and at school. But Laro later revealed to WHDH-TV his suspicions about the stepfather, whose odd behavior during the recent events fueled further questions.
Noyes was seen rolling around in his driveway a few hours before Cass’ body was discovered.
“We have our own suspicions,” Marica Laro, Cass’ grandmother told WHDH-TV, “but we can’t say anything.”
The family and local residents are hoping investigators quickly solve the case, unsettled in the mystery surrounding the death and in fear of their own safety as well.