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Community Search for Ali Gilmore

Hundreds of volunteers are expected to join a community search this weekend for Ali Gilmore, the pregnant woman who has been missing for two months now. The man who coordinated the search for little Polly Klaas years ago is in town and will be leading this search too.

"Searchers will fan throughout Tallahassee in an effort to locate and bring Ali home."

Ali Gilmore's family is anxious for the search to begin. It's being organized and led by the Klaas Kids Foundation, and they're hopeful that both friends and strangers will join in.

Carl McLawrence, Ali Gilmore's father, says, "We were starting to feel a little low, and now from talking to Brad with Klaas Kids, he's given us a lot of hope."

Laurvetta Grimsley-McLawrence, Ali Gilmore's mother, adds, "I try to prepare myself for the best and for the worst. All I want is Ali."

Search team leaders spent the day Friday surveying neighborhoods, ponds, and woods on the city's south side. They've already pinpointed more than a dozen areas to search, but mapping them out in person is critical.

Helen Winfree with the Klaas Kids search team says, "This is going to help us get high probability areas and know which teams to send out, where to send our dog teams out and know how to prepare our people when they come out."

Before volunteers start trudging through here they'll be briefed on what to do should they find anything: flag it and back away so law enforcement can take a look.

John Winfree says, "Anyway you look at it, if you don't find something it's a success, you find something, it's a success, so really there's not a negative in there."

Ali Gilmore's family is hopeful the search will yield some clues, but knows it could also bring the worst possible news.

Attallah McLawrence, Ali Gilmore's sister, says, "We're not expecting the worst. We want a positive ending. If worst comes to worst, we're ready for that as well, but we just want to bring this case to a close."

Those of you who want to help can report to the Character Center at 447 FAMY Way. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and they'll be sending teams out in shifts both Saturday and Sunday.

A few requirements: you must be 18 years old, bring a photo ID and wear appropriate clothing: rugged shoes, long pants, boots, sunscreen, bug spray, and things like that.

If trudging through the woods isn't doable for you, they need help handing out water and flyers, and if you're wondering about the rain, the search is on unless there's thunder and lightning. Then they'll have to wait that out.


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