NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX ( KTRE ) - All last week humans searched the northern end of Lake Nacogdoches and its shorelines for Torchie Boyd. Monday they returned, but this time with cadaver dogs. Boyd disappeared after her boyfriend's body was found following an apparent suicide.
A couple of Catahoolas, a German Shepherd and a Doberman Pincher jumped out of their kennels. Cadaver dogs come in all breeds. It's the training that makes the difference. More than a year's worth is needed for certification. Dog handler Ja'na Bickel said of her dog, Bella, " She worked the Katrina floods probably four times and found probably ten people there. " The dogs come from K-9's Search and Recovery from the Woodlands.
The search began early this morning to beat the scorching august sun. Nevertheless, precautions are taken. Bickel warns to, " Every 15 minutes break 'em. " Recent rains helped trailing conditions for a parameter that covered about 50 acres in all. Investigator, Bill Ball told the search crew, " Go from the road all the way to the high line. " Attempts were made to follow a trail possibly taken by Ernest Young, the last person Boyd was seen with before her disappearance. His body was found about five miles away near Goodman Bridge. Game warden Jim Yetter said, " We worked the trails where he would have crossed the creek and along the shoreline, those areas, so from the house we've checked 1/2 mile out in the direction of travel, 1/2 mile out and a mile wide. "
After a couple of hours of searching the dogs and handlers returned to J & S Campground. The heat was setting in, but no one was giving up. " We'll let them rest a few minutes and then go back out there," said Bickel. She and others returned dirtier and sweatier after trekking through the the dense brush.
After the rest the handlers took the dogs back to a nearby oil pit. It was a place where the dogs gave an alert. Game wardens dragged the oily water, about three foot deep, but snagged nothing. The dog's scent abilities are so strong they can detect a body even when it's underwater. The handlers are confident in the dogs. "If the woman is out there, the dogs will find her," said Bickel. The dogs were taken back to the area later in the day. They boarded boats to see if they could detect any scents coming from the lake itself, but for now the whereabouts of Torchie Boyd remain a mystery.