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Authorities Search Ore. Apt. Complex

July 13, 2002

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OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) _ FBI agents spent more than three hours searching an apartment in the same complex where two 13-year-old girls vanished earlier this year. An upstairs neighbor of one of the girls said the agents were looking for evidence in his home.

The search Friday was based on a warrant, FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said. She would not say whose apartment was searched and would not confirm whether it was related to the girls’ disappearances.

Ashley Pond, 13, disappeared in January, and her friend Miranda Gaddis, 13, disappeared in March. The girls were neighbors in the low-income apartment complex, attended the same school and were members of a school dance team.

The FBI believes both were kidnapped.

Adam Abrams, 23, who lives in the apartment above Ponds’ family, said the FBI searched his residence on Friday and towed his car. Abrams said he did not know either girl and was asleep when they disappeared.

``I just said ‘hi’ to Ashley″ a few times, he said. ``They have no reasons to suspect me.″

Police earlier had searched Bagby Hot Springs, where Abrams said he went camping in March.

Abrams said the FBI also asked him three weeks ago for his mental health records and he refused. He said police also claim he failed a lie-detector test.

Investigators have interviewed scores of residents at the complex, gone on national television with appeals for information and passed out fliers with pictures of the missing girls.

Earlier this week, FBI agents said they were focusing on 10 to 20 people as possible suspects.

Charlie Mathews, the special-agent-in-charge of the Oregon FBI, told The Oregonian that investigators want to look at mental health records to see if someone has been treated for pedophilia or sexual rage.

At least two other men have said they have been given polygraph tests, and several other people have anonymously told reporters that they are suspects.

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