, 2015

Search continues and so do the rumors
involving the missing Claudine J. Gifford

LANCASTER—Rumors are false that a body was found in the Weems area on Thursday, July 10, according to Capt. Marty Shirilla of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

As of 4 p.m.Friday, July 11, the search for Claudine J.Gifford continued.
The public is strongly urged not to spread false information based on individual suppositions, said Capt. Shirilla.

As in all other cases, information is released provided that such release does not jeopardize the success of the investigation, he said

Missing person:
Claudine Jaquier Gifford

by Audrey Thomasson

LANCASTER—The search for a Burgess woman missing since Sunday evening has been expanded, according to Lancaster County Sheriff Ronnie Crockett. Claudine Jaquier Gifford, 43, was last seen leaving the tiki bar at Pelican’s at the Point, 40 Windjammer Lane, Windmill Point. around 8:30 p.m. July 6, accompanied by a man.

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Claudine Jaquier Gifford was last seen in the Windmill Point are aroundb 8:30 p.m. July 6.

Sheriff Crockett reported ground and air search teams are working in the area from Windmill Point north toward White Stone. Beginning July 10, the operation expanded to include shoreline and shallow water searches including creeks on the bayside and the Rappahannock River side of Windmill Point.

“This is still being worked as a missing person case,” said Capt. Marty Shirilla. “The expanded actions are part of what are considered the normal next steps to take under the circumstances in this case.”

“Past cases have proved that tidal flow is not a simple matter of water in and out of the creeks and up and down the river. It is not unusual for a body, if there is one, to wash ashore several miles upriver from the original point of entry into the water. There are numerous factors to consider before a body...to wash ashore or surface,” said lead investigator Lt. E. T. Self.

The sheriff’s office declined to comment on whether foul play is involved or if law enforcement officers have discovered any other evidence in the case. They also declined to confirm the identity of Gifford’s male companion.

“We are treating this as a missing person,” said Shirilla.

Virginia Marine Police and Virginia State Police are assisting in the search efforts.

Gifford is described as a white female with brown eyes and wavy sandy blond hair. She is 5-feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 112 pounds. She was last seen wearing a multi-colored tank top, blue jeans and sandals.

Anyone with information about the case or Gifford’s current location is asked to call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s office at 462-5111 or Crime Solvers at 462-7463.

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