UPDATE: FBI Used Death Row Inmate to Search for Samantha Burns

By: WSAZ News Staff; The Associated Press; Andrew Colegrove; Olivia Fecteau Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; The Associated Press; Andrew Colegrove; Olivia Fecteau Email
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UPDATE 10/10/13 @ 8 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- FBI agents took the unusual step of temporarily letting a federal death row inmate out of his cell to help with the search for remains of one of two women he killed.
According to court order, the FBI took 36-year-old Chadrick Fulks from an Indiana prison to West Virginia in March to help with the search for the remains of 19-year-old Samantha Nicole Burns.

In a letter to the AP, Fulks confirmed his role in the search for the Marshall University student last seen in 2002.

Fulks said he showed agents the area where Burns was buried during a 17-day crime spree after he and another inmate escaped a western Kentucky jail in 2002.

Burns' body has never been located.

"The tone is very remorseful,” Brett Barrouquere, the AP reporter who Fulks responded to, said “t sounds like he wants to, when his time comes, he wants a clear conscience knowing either they found Miss Burns, or he did all he could to help them."

"He says he's remorseful,” Samantha’s aunt Tammy Adkins said after reading the letter Thursday evening. “I would hope that he is remorseful for what he did to Samantha."

Adkins says the family has exchanged letters with Fulks before, and they believe his efforts to help find Samantha's remains are sincere.

“Hopefully one of these days he'll tell us the exact spot and be on top of her, and we'll find her," she said.



UPDATE 3/29/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A volunteer group based in North Carolina has joined in for day three of the search for the remains of a Marshall University student killed more than 10 years ago.

The group, Community United Effort (CUE) Center for Missing Persons, joined the FBI and West Virginia State Police Friday to comb an area along Buffalo Creek Road, off Route 75 in Wayne County.

The group has been involved in the search in the past, traveling to Wayne County in March 2009 and September 2009 to search for the remains of Samantha Burns, following tips from one of her murderers about where her body was buried.

Samantha Burns was a 19-year-old Marshall University student who was abducted from a parking lot at the Huntington Mall in November 2002.

FBI and State Police have been searching this area since Wednesday, working off a tip that led them to this stretch of road. As of Friday afternoon, they had scaled back their search, and CUE volunteers brought in cadaver dogs to check out the scene.

"We're feeling very hopeful, still hopeful, still praying that we find something," Tammy Adkins, Burns' aunt, said.

The area where CUE volunteers are looking is one they've searched in the past. It's about 3 miles away from Haneys Branch Road, where deputies found Burns' burned-out car shortly after she disappeared in 2002.

Two men, Chad Fulks and Brandon Basham, were convicted for Burns' murder, and Fulks provided tips and hand-drawn maps to investigators in 2009 that he said would lead them to where they had buried her body. Both men are currently on federal death row.

In March 2009, CUE volunteers searched this exact area and others across Wayne County over a two-week period. They returned in September to search near the railroad tracks, southeast of this location on Route 75 by about 2 miles.

On Friday, CUE volunteers wouldn't tell WSAZ.com any details about their search or what they hoped to accomplish.

Since the men responsible for the murder have already been convicted, this search is about closure for Burns' family and the community.

"You just have to take it hour by hour, minute by minute and see what happens from there," Adkins said.

Barrell Harris, a nearby neighbor, said he hopes they find Samantha Burns' remains.

"I think it's important for them to find her and get closure with it, where they can bury her proper," Harris said.

There's no word on how long CUE volunteers plan to continue searching.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/28/13 @ 3:30 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The search for remains of a Marshall University student killed nearly ten years ago has been called off for the evening.

Search crews wrapped up search efforts for Samantha Burns about 3:30 p.m., Thursday.

The FBI and West Virginia State Police are looking along Buffalo Creek Road in Wayne County.

Crews say they will resume the search Friday at 8 a.m.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/28/13 @ 10 a.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The search for Samantha Burns’s remains resumed Thursday morning in Wayne County.

Our crew on the scene says about a two dozen agents and troopers, including two K-9 units, are at the site behind Buffalo Creek Hardware on Buffalo Creek Road in Wayne County.

The area has dense heavy brush so two tractors have been brought in to help clear the area. While this area is being cleared of the brush, authorities are searching another area, about 50 yards away by hand.

On Wednesday, FBI investigators told WSAZ.com they received a tip that brought them to this site.

This search is within 2 miles of another area authorities searched several years back after receiving a tip.

The FBI tells WSAZ.com they will be out here most of the day.

Burns went missing in November 2002. The 19-year-old Marshall University student’s burned out car was found several days after her disappearance in a remote location in Wayne County.

Brandon Basham and Chadrick Fulks were convicted of killing Burns along with 44-year-old Alice Donovan, of Galivants Ferry, S.C., after they escaped from a Kentucky jail a week before her disappearance.

Donovan’s remains were found in 2009 in South Carolina.

Fulks and Basham are both currently on death row in a federal prison in Indiana.

Over the years, both men have given several clues to investigators about where they left Burns body, but nothing's ever been found.

Relatives of Burns went to the scene in Wayne County Wednesday after they were notified about the search. Some family members are back at the site Thursday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/27/13 @ 7:30 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The search for Samantha Burns, who went missing in 2002, is again underway in Wayne County.

According to the FBI, Wednesday afternoon investigators with the FBI and West Virginia State Police began searching a wooded area off of Buffalo Creek Road near the intersection of Route 75.

FBI investigators tell WSAZ.com they recently received a tip that caused the need for the search. Wednesday they worked on clearing the area of brush.

The search was suspended at dark Wednesday night. The FBI says they will resume Thursday morning.

Samantha Burns went missing in November of 2002.

Brandon Basham and Chadrick Fulks were convicted of killing the 19-year-old Marshall University student and 44-year-old Alice Donovan, of Galivants Ferry, S.C., after they escaped from a Kentucky jail a week before her death.

Donovan’s remains were found in 2009 in South Carolina.

Fulks and Basham are both currently on death row in a federal prison in Indiana.

Relatives of Burns went to the scene in Wayne County Wednesday after they were notified about the search.

They’re hoping this is finally the end, but they say they've had false hope before.

Over the years, the men convicted of killing Burns have given several clues to investigators about where they left her body, but nothing's ever been found.

"The first time was the hardest because it was a big letdown,” Burns’ aunt Tammy Adkins said. “Every time we look, we don't know if we're going to find her or not."

Adkins says the family won’t have closure until they have some definitive answers.

"We have to have faith in God that one of these days we will find her,” Adkins said. “Maybe this is the one, maybe it's not. If it's not, we'll keep looking.”

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/27/13 @ 5 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The search for Samantha Burns, who went missing in 2002, is again underway in Wayne County.

According to the FBI, investigators with the FBI and West Virginia State Police are searching a wooded area off of Buffalo Creek Road near the intersection of Route 75.

FBI investigators tell WSAZ.com that they recently received a tip that caused the need for the search. They are currently working to clear the area of brush.

Samantha Burns went missing back in 2002.

Brandon Basham and Chadrick Fulks were convicted of killing the 19-year-old Marshall University student and 44-year-old Alice Donovan, of Galivants Ferry, after they escaped from a Kentucky jail in November 2002.

Fulks and Basham are both currently on death row in a federal prison in Indiana.

The search was suspended at dark Wednesday night and will resume at daybreak Thursday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/2/11 @ 7:45 a.m.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A man on federal death row for killing women in South Carolina and West Virginia says he wants his sentence and conviction vacated.

Lawyers argue in court documents filed Tuesday that original attorneys for 29-year-old Brandon Basham made mistakes during his 2004 trial.

Basham and Chadrick Fulks were convicted of killing 19-year-old Marshall University student Samantha Burns and 44-year-old Alice Donovan of Galivants Ferry after they escaped from a Kentucky jail in November 2002.

A year ago, Basham asked that he be allowed to drop any remaining appeals and be executed. Basham had also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his death sentence because of a juror's misconduct. But the justices turned down that request without comment.

Donovan's remains were found last year. Burns' body has never been found.

UPDATE 7/25/10
WEST HAMLIN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Sometimes the biggest fear in a missing person's case is the fear of forgetting. Forgetting about the kidnapping, the search, the agony the family went through and continues living with. That's what one very special group is making sure doesn't happen with Samantha Burns.

"It's been like roller coaster," says Candy Burns, the mother of Samantha. "You don't know if you're going to be up one day or down the next, or both the same day."

It's been eight and a half years since 19-year-old Samantha Burns disappeared from the Huntington Mall parking lot.

After years of questioning and digging, two men are paying for her murder, but the search for her still remains.

"There is parts of her out there somewhere and we just want to bring her home so that we can give her a proper burial and we can have somewhere to go pay our respects to her," Tammy Adkins, Samantha's aunt tells WSAZ.com.

The CUE Center for Missing Persons made a stop in West Hamlin Wednesday to not only bring awareness to Samantha's case, but to hold the hands of those going through such tragedy.

"It's amazing to know a total stranger coming in to look for your daughter's remains and before she leaves, you're all a family," says Candy.

Chad Fulks is sitting on death row for Samantha's murder. Over the past several years, he's given up information and even locations of where to find her, but with little luck.

WSAZ.com's Stephanie Schelkun asked Candy if she ever feel like Chad Fulks is toying with her family, giving her false locations of Samantha's remains. All Candy replied was, "sometimes, but he's the only one that knows."

Samantha's remains may still be missing, but she is not forgotten.

She is very much alive in the hearts of family, friends and so many in the community.

Chad Fulks and his accomplice Brandon Basham have both pleaded guilty to Samantha's abduction and murder, and are on death row in Indiana.

They have also pleaded guilty to another murder of a woman in South Carolina around the same time Samantha was taken.



UPDATE 06/16/10 @ 11:00 a.m.
COLUMBIA, SC (WSAZ) -- The man convicted of killing a South Carolina woman and Marshall University student, Samantha Burns, has asked to drop any remaining appeals of his death sentence, and be executed.

The Associated Press reports that court documents filed Tuesday show that Brandon Basham sent that request to a federal court in Columbia late last week.

Basham had previously asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his death sentence following juror misconduct. Justices overturned the request without comment earlier this month.

Basham, along with co-defendant Chad Fulks, were convicted of killing Alice Donovan, 44, of Galivants Ferry, SC in 2002.

The two escaped from a Kentucky jail and kidnapped the 44-year-old from a Walmart parking lot in Conway, SC. Donovan’s remains were finally found in January 2009.

Basham and Fulks also pleaded guilty to federal carjacking charges that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Samantha Burns.

Burns was killed in the Huntington area during that two-week crime spree involving the duo in November 2002. Her body has never been found.



UPDATE 06/01/10 @ 10 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a federal death row inmate who said his death sentence should have been thrown out because of a juror's misconduct.

The justices did not comment Tuesday in turning down Brandon Basham, who was sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing 44-year-old Alice Donovan in 2002.

The foreperson on Basham's jury was held in contempt of court by the trial judge after it was learned that she called five news organizations and made 71 other calls to two fellow jurors, despite repeated warnings from the judge to refrain from discussing the case with anyone.



UPDATE 5/31/10 @ 6:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the appeal of a death-row defendant who wants his penalty thrown out due to juror misconduct.

Brandon Basham was convicted of killing a 44-year-old woman in South Carolina during a two-week crime spree after he and Chadrick Fulks escaped from a Kentucky jail in 2002.

Basham and Fulks also have pleaded guilty to killing 19-year-old Marshall University student Samantha Burns in West Virginia.

Basham asked for his death-sentence in South Carolina to be thrown out as a result of jury foreman Cynthia Wilson's conduct. Despite warnings from a federal judge not to discuss the case, Wilson called five news organizations and placed 71 other calls to two fellow jurors.

The judge refused Basham's request to throw out his death sentence and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., agreed. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide as early as Tuesday whether it will hear Basham's case.



UPDATE 9/24/09
LAVALETTE, W.Va. (AP) -- The search for remains of a Marshall University student killed nearly seven years ago has been halted after crews failed to turn up anything after a weeklong effort.

Monica Caison, founder of Community United Effort - Center for Missing Persons, said the search was called off about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Crews were looking Samantha Burns' remains in what was once a ravine that had been filled with debris from a mudslide and fill dirt.

Caison says searchers used numerous cadaver dogs, which failed to turn up anything in the southwestern West Virginia site.

Chadrick Fulks and Brandon Basham were convicted of killing the 19-year-old Burns and 44-year-old Alice Donovan of Galivants Ferry, S.C., after they escaped from a Kentucky jail in November 2002. Fulks insists Burns' body was dumped in Wayne County.



UPDATE 9/22/09
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The volunteer team searching for murder victim Samantha Burns desperately wants to make a recovery soon or eliminate the latest search site and move on.

Meanwhile, South Carolina FBI agent Jeff Bruning stood his usual watch on Tuesday, reminding those not involved at the scene that this is not a search for evidence in the case of two already convicted killers.

"This is about closure, and if we can make happen what happened in South Carolina, that will happen," Bruning said, referring to the case of Alice Donovan whose remains were found in January.

During that search and also acting on a map and information from confessed murderer Chad Fulks, Bruning and search leader Monica Caison led the effort that produced Donovan's remains -- six years after her death. Donovan's family will have a long awaited funeral Nov. 14.

"Her two daughters were in a living nightmare," Bruning said. "We were able to give them answers and some peace."

Bruning said Fulks is now not resigned to a death sentence, but actively appealing for his life.

"He's constantly appealing and has another on in a few weeks," Bruning said.

Caison said Bruning's hopes here are as deep and passionate as any family member.

If the current Wayne County site is eliminated, Bruning and Caison insist that the search for Burns is definitely not over.



UPDATE 9/20/09
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- New leads have volunteers searching a remote area of Wayne County for the remains of missing Marshall student Samantha Burns.

The volunteers are with CUE, a national group that helps families find missing children.

Monica Caison, the founder of the group, told WSAZ.com that they are digging with an excavator behind the railroad tracks on Maple Lane. She says her group will keep searching until dark.

Burns disappeared more than six years ago. Chad Fulks admitted to killing her and Alice Donovan in South Carolina.

Caison says Fulks led them to a body that was identified as Donovan during a search in South Carolina. New information from Fulks has brought the group together again in Wayne County.

Caison says,"We'll stay out here as long as it takes to find Samantha."



UPDATE 8/12/09
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A man on federal death row for killing a South Carolina woman says he's trying to help find another victim's body.

In a letter to The Associated Press, Chadrick Fulks says he wants to help find the body of West Virginia college student Samantha Burns.

Fulks was convicted in 2004 in the death of South Carolina mother Alice Donovan during a crime spree. Fulks led searchers to remains authorities have identified as belonging to Donovan.

Fulks has pleaded guilty to killing Burns. Now, he's communicating with a search team trying to find her body. Teams are returning to West Virginia next month.

Fulks says he's not doing it for leniency. He says he feels encouraged because he helped searchers find Donovan.



UPDATE 6/26/09
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The woman leading the search for missing Marshall Student Samantha Burns says she is coming back to West Virginia in September to begin a new search.

Monica Caison, founder of the Community United Effort- Center for Missing Persons says the test results announced over the weekend confirming the remains they found in January belonged to Alice Donovan- has given her a new sense of hope.

“We can definitely move on and say OK, maybe we just need to look at these areas with a whole new fresh look and just start all over again,” Caison said.

The cases of Donovan, a South Carolina 44-year-old mother of two and 19-year-old Samantha Burns are linked through Chad Fulks. He admitted to killing Donovan and Burns after he escaped from a Kentucky jail in 2002.

Fulks and Brandon Basham were convicted in Donovan’s death and they are now sitting on death row in a prison in Indiana. They also pleaded guilty to killing Burns.

It was from death row that Fulks reached out to provide information that helped authorities and search crews locate Donovan’s body.

His attempts to do the same for Burns have so far proven fruitless.
“With Samantha he provided a very detailed map, but very confusing directions and then when you get down into the detailed map, nothing is fitting,” Caison said.

Volunteers from the Community United Effort- Center for Missing Persons spent 16 days searching a wooded area in Wayne County, near Route 75. This is near the area where Burns’ car was found burned out more than six years ago.

“That is one place that I can’t walk away and say 100 percent that she is not there, but I feel confident that we should have been able to find her, but again the terrain has changed so much,” Caison said.

After her last attempt to find Burns’ body back in March came up empty, Caison said she spoke with Fulks over the phone to try and get better information. Those conversations have her focusing the new search on an area about a mile and a half away from the initial search site.

It’s a site that has changed quite a bit over the last six years, what used to be an entirely wooded area was at one point excavated in preparation for a new day care center. Those changes make it harder for search crews to match up what Fulks remembers to what is there now.

“You can’t look at what you’re looking at now, you have to go back to 2002 and look at that. So that is what we're trying to do right now, is obtain old photos and old maps of this area,” said Caison.

Despite the setbacks and ensuing frustrations in the search for Burns- Caison says the Burns family deserves the same thing Alice Donovan’s family now has, a chance for closure.



UPDATE 3/30/09
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld the death sentence for a man who kidnapped and killed a South Carolina woman.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday unanimously rejected several claims raised by Brandon Leon Basham, who was convicted along with Chadrick Fulks in the slaying of Alice Donovan. Fulks also was sentenced to death.

Basham and Fulks also pleaded guilty in West Virginia in the 2002 death of 19-year-old Marshall University student Samantha Burns.

Donovan was taken from a Conway parking lot in 2002 after Basham and Fulks escaped from a Kentucky jail and went on a multistate crime spree.



UPDATE: Monday 3/9 @ 11:18am
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The latest search for murder victim Samantha Burns' remains is on hold for a few weeks, with new information likely on the way from her convicted killer.

Working with the FBI and State Police, a missing person’s search team out of North Carolina combed 4 locations in Wayne County for four days last week.

But the team leader tells WSAZ.com that the information from Chad Fulks conflicted with the map he provided.

Monica Caison says a recent South Carolina search with information provided by Chad Fulks did turn up human remains, possibly those of murder victim Alice Donovan.

Caison says Fulks had videotape and pictures to work from with Donovan, but did not with Samantha Burns. She says the FBI took video and pictures in Wayne County and will show them to Fulks this week.

Caison says Fulks will then refine his map, and she expects to resume the search for the Marshall students' remains around March 23.



UPDATE: Thursday 3/5 @ 3:30pm
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ)-- The head of the search team looking for Samantha Burns' remains tells WSAZ.com that a phone call with Chad Fulks Thursday afternoon is taking search teams to a 4th location in Wayne County.

Monica Caison says searchers are moving to an area near the intersection of Route 75 and Route 152.

Caison says this is an area Fulks told them to search during that call.

Fulks is being held on death row in a Federal Prison in Indiana.



UPDATE: 2 p.m.Thursday 3/54
The search for Samantha Burns remains has moved to a third location in Wayne County.

The latest area is between Daisy Lane and Buffalo Crossing.



UPDATE: 3 p.m. Wednesday 3/4
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The search team looking for the remains of Samantha Burns moved a new location Wednesday afternoon.

Crews are now combing the area behind Rocky Top's Pizza, at the intersection of Buffalo Creek Rd. And Route 75.

This is about a city block from the location they searched on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Family members, State Police, FBI agents and members of a non-profit search group from North Carolina are taking part in the search.



UPDATE: 6 p.m. Tuesday 3/3
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A search team looking for the remains of murder victim Samantha Burns spent Tuesday working on an "area of concern."

A national missing persons search group is leading the renewed hunt, looking for the 19-year-old Marshall University student who was killed more than six years ago. Although we were out with the search team Tuesday, its members were keeping any findings quiet.

That's because there's as much emotion and guarding against a family's false hopes as there is cadaver dog, archaeological-type police work. The search team is acting on maps and directions provided by one of Burns' convicted killers, and he has provided false hope before.

Still, all involved believe there's good reason to search.

Working with FBI agents and West Virginia State Police, the missing persons search team from North Carolina used cadaver dogs to comb a wooded area not far from where Burns' charred car was discovered in 2002.

One dog seemed to pinpoint an out-of-the-way spot in a culvert. Searchers with shovels, hand tools and probing rods followed as Burns' anxious family watched. Search team leader Monica Caison downplayed the find.

"It's not significant," she said. "We're working on an area of concern."

Working off maps and directions from death row convict Chad Fulks, Caison said the Burns' information is different from details Fulks provided that recently led to finding human remains that may belong to another of his victims -- the late Alice Donovan of South Carolina.

We asked Caison if a search is more difficult after so much time has elapsed -- nearly six and a half years in the Burns' case.

"It is if the land navigation changes," she said. "We're in luck here -- better than in Alice's case."

Caison said the focus for her highly trained team of volunteers is to help grieving families find some peace.

"So people like Samantha Burns' family doesn't have to continue their journey with pain and suffering of a missed love one," she said.

The lead FBI agent on the case tells us the search team will stay small for now, adding that no big excavating equipment coming will be used. They'll use hand tools similar to those used in archaeological digs.

FBI officials said the search area, along with previous tips from Fulks, is the same general area they searched with dogs 18 months ago and found nothing. But they said -- considering the South Carolina find -- nothing should be taken for granted.

Search team members said they stopped searching around sunset Tuesday and will resume Wednesday morning. They said they are not ruling out other areas.



UPDATE: Noon. Tuesday 3/3
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new search for Samantha Burns' remains is underway in Wayne County.

A national missing person’s search group is participating in the new effort, along with the FBI, and the West Virginia State Police.

Members of Burns' family are also on the scene. We're told the search began about 9 a.m Tuesday.

The group is re-searching an area where Burns' burned out car was found shortly after she disappeared in 2002.

The group is using a map and other new information provided by Chad Fulks, who is now on death row after pleading guilty to the Marshall student's murder.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.



UPDATE from 6 p.m. Monday Newscast
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Monica Caison, the team leader of the Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons, hopes to continue the group's excellent track record by helping find Samantha Burns' remains.

Burns, a Marshall student, turned up missing in November 2002 -- about the same time as South Carolina's Alice Donovan. Chad Fulks and Brandon Basham pleaded guilty to killing both women. Recent information from Fulks helped find remains that may be Donovan's,
and there's another map from Fulks that may lead to Burns' remains.

Terri Chapman, a teacher who had Burns in her 8th grade English class, said Burns' family and community still seek closure.

"It will help the community heal," she said.

In January, Fulks -- who's now on death row -- responded to a missing person's search group in North Carolina about where to find murder victim Donovan's body in South Carolina.

"He had photos, a letter with directions, and a map he made the best he could," Caison said.

That information led to the group finding human remains -- a skull and arm bones that are being tested to match Donovan's DNA.

Following those finds came another note from Fulks about Burns, pointing to the wooded Wayne County area where her burned-out car was found.

"The map is more defined," Caison said. "We're hoping to work off the map."

After years of fruitless searches for Burns -- some involving Fulks' information -- the highly trained volunteer search group does not want to provide false hope but a renewed sense of urgency and effort.

"We hope we're fortunate enough to be blessed to find Samantha," Caison said. "We know how they feel."

She said her team of volunteers and cadaver dogs are meeting with local law enforcement and Burns' family members Monday evening. They plan to first make sure they're in the right area, then begin a search Tuesday that will start small and -- with possible discovery -- shift to a larger scale effort.

South Carolina officials hope to match their human remains with Donovan's DNA in the next few days or weeks. The Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons began in 1994. They've worked with 8,600 family members around the country.



ORIGINAL STORY
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A group that searches for missing people is headed to the Huntington area to resume the search for Samantha Burns’ remains.

Monica Caison with the CUE Center for Missing Persons tells WSAZ.com that she wants to meet with local FBI representatives before beginning any search.

Caison, who is founder of the North Carolina based group, says she expects to arrive in Huntington sometime Monday afternoon.

She did not want to comment any further on the search until later today (Monday).

A South Carolina TV station says the group plans to search for Burns’ remains in the area near German Ridge and Haney’s Branch Road in Wayne County.

Burns burned out car was found in that area a day after she disappeared in November 2002.

Chad Fulks and Brandon Basham are on death row in a federal prison in Indiana for Burns' kidnapping and murder, and the kidnapping and murder of Alice Donovan.

Burns disappearance came three days before Donovan was kidnapped in Horry County South Carolina. Neither body has been found.

In Late January, members of the group believed they found Donovan’s skeletal remains in a wooded area in Horry County. This, after Fulks gave them a letter and map of where he and Basham dumped Donovans body. Tests continue on those remains.

Now, according to the report, the group says that Fulks has provided them with another letter and map that could lead them to Burns remains.


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