Police search for sword in missing boy case

August 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
After nine days of intensive searching, police are down to their last few leads in the disappearance of young Hasanni Campbell and they need the public's help. There are new details about a search warrant served the day after Hasanni went missing.

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According to the warrant, police were looking for a sword or cutting instrument, biological evidence, and his foster's father's BMW.

Nine days ago Hasanni was last seen by his foster father behind a Rockridge neighborhood shoe store.

Through all of his pleas, Louis Ross -- Hasanni's foster father -- remains under a cloud of suspicion because he's the only one who can place Hasanni behind the store the day he disappeared.

"I was absolutely under a cloud of suspicion," says Mark Klass.

Klaas says the investigation for his daughter, Polly, who was abducted and murdered in 1993, could not go forward until he was cleared. The same for Ross.

"And I think at that point, the people will buy into his story a little more and you'll see a lot more public involvement in trying to recover little Hasanni," says Klaas.

Despite the cloud of suspicion, police say Hasanni's foster parents have been cooperating.

The desperate search for a missing Fremont boy suffered a glitch after someone who police say is "mentally unstable" clogged the tip line with useless calls. 5-year-old Hasanni disappeared more than one week ago and as more time goes by, the odds of finding him alive get worse.

The fliers police have been handing out across the Bay Area for the last week and a half show the Crime Stoppers phone number. Police say they check this voicemail every day. It is supposed to be a way for people to leave anonymous tips for investigators, but as of Wednesday morning, people could not leave any messages at all.

If they called the number they got a message saying, "Thanks for calling the Crime Stoppers Hotline. No messages may be taken for this mailbox. It is full. Thank you for calling."

Police say part of the problem is that one person has been calling the voicemail and clogging it with messages unrelated to the missing boy. They also say fliers passed out to the media have two other numbers listed including numbers for investigators and police dispatch. They hope people will call those.

Searches in the neighborhood and around the East Bay have come up empty and so far, fewer than 50 tips have come in.

"We do need the public's help in locating this young boy and hopefully as time goes on, we'll be able to find him. Time is against us right now. This is the ninth day that he's been missing. As time goes on, it's less likely we're going to find him alive," Oakland police officer Jeff Thomason told ABC7.

Police are still calling this a "missing person's case." They say they have a few more small leads to follow up on, but they do not have any more searches planned because they just do not have any large tips to go on.

The Crime Stoppers Hotline number is now up and running. But, police say the best number for people to call is 510-777-3211, which is Oakland Police Dispatch, a number manned around the clock.

There is alot of hope to go around in the Rockridge neighborhood, but police are saying that because they have no new leads they have no new searches planned for Hasanni.

There is now a memorial for Hasanni in the parking lot where he was last seen. Passersby like Toni Sands and her daughter cannot help but stop and wonder.

"I just wanted to go by and say a prayer, and hope that God answers it," she told ABC7.

There is a $10,000 reward in the case. Authorities hope that dollar amount is enough to convince someone to come forward with new information.

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