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Experts search for bodies at Manson ranch

May 21, 2008 at 11:03 AM

PANAMINT, Calif., May 21 (UPI) -- Researchers searched the California ranch where Charles Manson and his followers holed up in 1969 after killing actress Sharon Tate and six others.

The 20-member team was assembled to identify possible human remains at the Barker Ranch in Death Valley after a cadaver dog picked up the apparent scent of a body in February, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Using sensitive high-tech devices, the researchers have detected chemical compounds like the kind emitted by decaying bone and tissue, the Times said.

One of the team members is Arpad Vass, a scientist from the University of Tennessee who specializes in the study of the decay of human remains.

"I think there is something decomposed there," Vass told the Times. "But I don't know if an animal died here, or a Native American or a dinosaur way back when."

Team members said they planned to continue working through Thursday.

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