Investigators Open Nationwide Hataway Profile

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- The search for a missing Ocoee woman continues Thursday morning and now investigators want to know if the prime suspect in her case is connected to other crimes nationwide.
James Hataway has already been linked to the disappearances of Tracy Ocasio and Chris George from Apopka. Investigators are building a profile of Hataway that other agencies can see.
Law enforcement officers from around the state spent most of Wednesday searching a wooded area of Ocoee. Cadaver dogs scanned 300 acres of land, searching for traces of Tracy Ocasio.
Debbie Abney is a lead tracker. She and a team of other trackers work through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, setting up a profile for suspects like James Hataway.
Abney is working on the Tracy Ocasio file, sorting through every tip from informants to 911 calls, entering them into a web-based system that will make sure no lead falls through the cracks.
"The most minor lead could be the one to solve the case," said Abney.
Hundreds of leads are piling up in the Ocasio case. This system will connect the dots for investigators from anywhere in the country if Hataway is tied to other crimes.
"The program has the ability to compare leads that may exist in other cases," said Abney.
Leads like the one that led Ocoee investigators to a wooded area Wednesday. Cadaver dogs from as far way as Miami-Dade searched nearly 300 acres of thick brush.
"It was a tree farm. Areas dug out a couple feet deep. He would not have to dig a hole if he wanted to bury something," said Abney.
It is an area Jimmy Hataway was known to illegally dump debris. Apopka investigators also searched a house Wednesday where Hataway was known to sometimes stay.
The leads, the outcome of searches and Hataway's DNA are all entered into one system at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. However, the system is only as good as the tips that come in.
"We're obviously going to need tips. We have to have something to follow," said Abney.
Investigators will continue their search for Tracy Ocasio Thursday and will look for any other clues that might lead to her whereabouts. If you have any information that may help the investigation, please call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS

No comments: