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Family, police keep up search for Wilberger.

Byline: Rebecca Nolan The Register-Guard

CORVALLIS - Volunteers have combed 4,000 acres looking for Brooke Carol Wilberger.

They have spent more than 8,000 hours trying to find her.

Police have received 4,500 tips about where she might be.

Detectives have pondered 54 "persons of interest" since the 19-year-old vanished May 24 from a Corvallis apartment building. They've administered at least 15 polygraph tests.

Still, investigators have nothing.

No serious suspects. No compelling leads. No physical evidence.

Nothing.

"We obviously wanted to have this solved the evening of May 24," Corvallis police Lt. Ron Noble said during a news conference Wednesday. "That's not happening."

Still, he insists, the investigation is not stalled.

Detectives currently have four "persons of interest." Police are still receiving tips. It's just a matter of time, Noble said.

"We believe this case will be solved," he said.

Brooke's family believes, too. They replace old, faded posters with new ones wrapped in plastic to protect them from the rain. They pray. They wait.

"It's not like what you see on TV," her father, Greg Wilberger, said. "It doesn't take an hour."

A friend had 20,000 pink plastic bracelets made by a company in Portland. They carry the Web site "www.find brooke.com" and the hot line "800-843-5678."

They're available at Family Tree Bookstore in Eugene and businesses around the state. Friends will pass them out at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where Brooke would have entered her sophomore year this fall.

In the meantime, the Wilbergers work to keep Brooke's face in the newspapers, on television and in people's minds. That's how Elizabeth Smart was found nine months after she disappeared from her family's Utah home. Someone recognized her.

"We just don't feel that she's gone," Greg Wilberger said. "We believe she's around here somewhere.

"One of these days, she'll show up."

CAPTION(S):

About 20,000 pink bracelets will help keep the search for Brooke Wilberger in people's minds.
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Title Annotation:Crime
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 28, 2004
Words:327
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