Dear Cindy (Cornwell),
Thank you so much for delivering copies of THE WAYNEDALE NEWS to the base, after all. Time got away from me the day I was going to stop by in person. Several people had already told me, “Nice picture and write-up.” I agree!
Again, many thanks.
122 FW Family Support
To the Editor,
The dozens of individuals who labored long and hard in the search for the body of Christina Suttle in the National Serv-All Landfill are greatly disappointed and disheartened; not in our efforts or in the way the search was conducted, but for the fact that we could not bring closure to this situation for Christina’s family and for the community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who love this little girl and are grieving her loss. We are also disappointed as investigators in failing to find important evidence in this death investigation.
When the Fort Wayne Police Department Detective Bureau indicated to us that there might be a deceased child in the National Serv-All Landfill, the Fort Wayne Police Department and the office of the Allen County Coroner realized the tremendous task we had before us. The challenges began unfolding as we planned the search to find Christina. The physical challenges included personnel to work the site, weather, large and small equipment, health hazards to the searchers, and the proverbial “needle in a haystack” type task (over 5,000 tons of debris were examined). Beyond the physical challenges were the emotional challenges of dealing with the search in a landfill for a little girl who had lived a challenging, short life.
However, these challenges were approached by multiple agencies, each having their own specialty, cooperating together to create an effective, efficient search that no one could have done without the help of the others.
The agencies that cooperated together in the search included: The Fort Wayne Police Department, The Allen County Coroner’s Office, National Serv-All Corporation, American Red Cross, Canine volunteers and handlers, Allen County Sheriff’s Department, Fort Wayne Fire Department, Southwest Fire District, Department of Natural Resources, Allen County Service Center, Land Surveying & Consulting Inc., Fort Wayne and Allen County community at large for it’s generous contributions to the American Red Cross and Allen County Incident Command Unit.
Special recognition and thanks must go to the National Serv-All Corporation for their generous support and cooperation for the entire time of the search effort. From the first day of planning to the end, they were fully cooperative, working daily by our side, lending large and small support and equipment, employees, surveyors, and facilities. Their generosity greatly exceeded our expectation, and I believe that National Serv-All is a corporate citizen that Allen County can be proud of.
The American Red Cross served us faithfully by supplying the workers with refreshments and lunches. Canine handlers generously donated their time and their dogs to help in the search. They are also to be thanked for arranging food donations for the worker’s lunches from local restaurants and food vendors.
We appreciate the local community and Indiana State regulatory agencies for their understanding during the disruption of normal operating procedures, creating a less than desirable local environment.
The Allen County Coroner’s Office Phillip E O’Shaughnessey Memorial Incident Command Unit, although incomplete in it’s construction and electronic communication equipment, was available for shelter to the workers doing the search. Its availability was invaluable and made the search effort and environment manageable. WE are thankful to the Allen County Commissioners and the generous donations of the general public who helped to make the Incident Command Unit possible.
As the search at the landfill concludes, the investigation into Christina Suttle’s death and whereabouts is continuing by the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Allen County Prosecutor’s office, and Allen County Coroner’s Office.
E. Jon Brandenberger, MD
Coroner, Allen County