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Community Grieves for Little Girl, Search Continues for Killer

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RAEFORD — A little girl has been laid to rest as her community continues to grieve. More than 700 people showed up Monday nightto say good-bye to 5-year-old Brittany Locklear as an intensive searchcontinues for her killer.

Hoke County Sheriff's deputies say they are conducting their mostextensive investigation ever in their quest to find the person or persons who kidnapped and killed the child last week. Sheriff Wayne Byrd saidTuesday that his department was going to have to find out what otherresources were available to assist with the search.

For now, the investigation appears to be at an impasse as thoseinvolved take time Tuesday to make decisions about where to go next.Staffers are hard at work in what's known as the "war room" at thesheriff's department, manning phone lines, gathering tips and information,and plotting strategy.

Byrd says they watched the crowd closely at Monday's funeral, thinkingthe killer might be among the mourners.

Byrd says relatives of the child will be given lie-detector tests inkeeping with standard procedure, but it won't be done right away.

Byrd spent part of Tuesday afternoon tracking down a tip involving thesighting of a brown truck in South Carolina. The lead did not turn up anynew evidence. Witnesses say the man whotook Locklear was driving a brown pickup truck.

Byrd told WRAL-TV5'sMarkRobertsTuesday that there is still a great sense of urgency on thepart of investigators involved in this search.

Road checks are planned for Wednesday morning around the site of thekidnapping. The girl was abducted last Wednesday.

Photographer:Mike Joyner

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