11 Aug 09
"It's as if the earth opened up and swallowed her."
So said San Rafael Deputy Police Chief Thomas Stephenson in 1973, a week after 6-year-old Tracy Lynn Davenport disappeared while walking to kindergarten.
Thirty-six years later, investigators decided to see if Stephenson was right after all.
On Monday, San Rafael police and firefighters burrowed into a forgotten crawlspace at a Canal area motel to confirm, or rule out, longstanding rumors that Tracy had been buried somewhere on the property.
In 1973, Tracy lived in Room 49 at the old Bermuda Palms motel - now Room 149 of the Motel 6 at 737 E. Francisco Blvd...
One loose end was the persistent rumor, based on no credible information, that Tracy was buried around
the pool area of the old Bermuda Palms. The Olympic-size pool had been built over by the time Tracy lived there, and the common belief was that the pool had been filled in, but police recently confirmed that the pool area had merely been covered by flooring.
That set up Monday's search operation, where San Rafael firefighters and police breached a crawlspace surrounding the pool in search of Tracy's remains. The air was deemed unsafe for trained cadaver dogs, but investigators were able to examine the space with a telescoping camera.
All they found were a few pieces of wood and a pair of safety glasses, said police spokeswoman....
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"Don't forget the kangaroo!"