Family: Sandal Belongs to Shaquita Bell

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. - Police at the scene of a search for Shaquita Bell have unearthed a sandal that members of her family claim belongs to the missing woman.

Detectives began a new search for Bell, who disappeared in 1996, in an area off of Old Fort Road in Fort Washington on Wednesday. Her ex-boyfriend Michael Dickerson admitted to shooting her and struck a plea deal for fifteen years in prison in exchange for leading police to Bell's remains. Past searches of this area in Fort Washington have turned up nothing.

Investigators initially dismissed the sandal that was found on Thursday afternoon, but when Bell's mother and aunt arrived at the scene, they claimed it did indeed belong to Shaquita. In fact, Shaquita's aunt tried on the shoe because she said she and Shaquita had about the same size foot, and the sandal fit.

Police are not commenting on the shoe discovery. K-9 cadaver dogs searched the area where the sandal was found and did not pick up a scent.

Investigators moved their search equipment about 100 yards away to work on another area, and then stopped their search for Thursday. They say they will resume at 7 a.m. Friday morning.

Earlier in the day, a cadaver dog found some sort of cloth at the dig site. Authorities say they don't believe it's related to the case.

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