Johnson County authorities were conducting a search today at Clinton Lake for the bodies of three suburban Kansas City women who have been missing since June and are presumed dead.
Lt. Dave Burger of the Lenexa Police Department, said this morning that five members and a specially trained search dog from his department, two members of the Overland Park Police Department and about 25 members of the Johnson County police academy recruiting class were searching a 100-acre area on the east side of the lake below the dam.
Burger said his department, acting on a telephone tip, searched the same area of the lake in late September, but heavy leaves and grassy conditions hampered the effort. Today's search was an effort to uncover anything that might have been missed in the earlier search, he said.
The telephone tip came from someone who thought they saw a car in the area that matched the description of one driven by Richard Grissom Jr., who was charged in Johnson County District Court on Aug. 16 with first-degree murder in connection with the disappearances of the three suburban Kansas City women.
Grissom has been connected to the disappearances of Joan Butler, 24, Overland Park, and Lenexa roommates Theresa Brown and Christine Rusch, both 22. He also is suspected in the June 7 death of Terri Maness, 25, Wichita.
In addition to the murders, Grissom has been charged with one count of aggravated kidnapping, four counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of burglary and one count of theft.
He is being held in the Johnson County Jail on $1 million bond. He was to appear at 2 p.m. today for a preliminary hearing, but a representative of the district attorney's office said Grissom's attorney was expected to ask for a continuance.
The search began about 9:30 a.m. and was expected to conclude later today, Burger said.