Divers Look for Missing Woman's Body - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/29/02 - Canton

Divers Look for Missing Woman's Body

Barry Steven Ragland is in jail on a $1 million bond, accused of murdering his wife in her Canton home. Last week, 49 year old Sharon Marie Ragland was reported missing to the Canton Police Department. Over the weekend, investigators say they found enough evidence to convince them she was murdered by her estranged husband.

Monday morning, dogs trained by the FBI sniffed the ground near Sharon Ragland's home, hoping to pick up a scent. Last Friday, Canton Police Chief David Hammonds says investigators scoured the inside of the home, turning up their first clues in her disappearance. "The crime scene people had determined some type of beating. There was blood spattering on the walls."

But the dogs didn't find a fresh trail outside the Ragland home. So, the search moved down the street to Lake Canton. Hammonds says he hopes to be able to rule the entire area out as a possible crime scene. "The FBI cadaver dog is supposed to be one of the best. He's been to Washington D.C. and places like that. So, we feel like that if there is anything here, hopefully the dog will be able to pick it up."

By Monday afternoon, Department of Public Safety Divers began looking underwater for Sharon Ragland. They focussed their search on an area singled out by the FBI's cadaver dogs earlier in the day. After hours of careful searching, the divers came up empty.

Canton Police say finding Mrs. Ragland may depend upon Mr. Ragland. "We're just hoping that maybe he'll come forth and tell us where the body is so that some of the family can lay this lady to rest."

Investigators also admit, without finding Sharon Ragland's body, their chances of convicting her husband for murder are much lower.

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