LIVONIA, Mich. - It's a massive shift in the search for Danielle Stislicki.
As police and the FBI searched Hines Park on Wednesday they said they no longer are looking for the 28-year-old Farmington Hills woman alive. They are now working to recover her remains.
Stislicki has been missing since Dec. 2, 2016. She left her job at MetLife in Southfield that day and was supposed to meet a friend for dinner. However, she never showed up for dinner and has not been seen or heard from since.
Timeline: Danielle Stislicki missing case
Her Jeep Renegade was found the next day parked outside her apartment on Halsted Road near Grand River Avenue in Farmington Hills. Police said her purse was still in the Jeep, but it's unclear if Stislicki or someone else parked it outside the apartment complex.
Why search Hines Park now?
Wednesday's law enforcement search at Hines Park is the largest such search to date conducted in relation to Stislicki's missing case.
"And the reason for that is Livonia's arrest of Floyd Galloway for the attempted sexual assault of a woman in (Hines Park)," said Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus.
Galloway is charged in a brutal attack on a jogger this past fall in Hines Park. Galloway used to work as a security guard at Stislicki's place of work in Southfield. As Farmington Hills police searched for evidence in the Stislicki case they found evidence tying Galloway to Hines Park and the Hines Park attack. It's a clear connection for investigators.
"Since we know that the Livonia suspect was in the park, this would be a natural place for us to search," said Nebus.
What they're searching for
About 100 investigators -- local, state and federal -- and 14 canines were searching the park on Wednesday. They're not just looking for human remains. They are searching for a key new piece of evidence: a tan and brown striped comforter. Investigators believe Stislicki's body may have been wrapped in that comforter.
Investigators also are searching for a blue Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 jacket, jeans, burgundy boots and a black zip-up shirt.
"Law enforcement authorities have expressed since day one that Danielle Stislicki was a victim of a crime," said Nebus. "The facts of the case lead us to believe she is not alive. Several air, land, and water searches have been conducted at various places throughout the investigation. Hines Park is being searched as the result of a recent Livonia and Farmington Hills joint investigation. This investigation has led to criminal charges in Livonia against Floyd Galloway, a 30-year-old resident of Berkley. Because the Livonia incident occurred in Hines Park, it is a location that requires searching. There is no specific information or evidence that leads us to believe Danielle’s remains are in the park."
Allen Park police investigate similarities
Moreover, police are investigating whether Galloway is linked to an Allen Park sexual assault case from June 10, 2017. Allen Park police believe the cases could be connected due to the similarities between sketches made based on descriptions from the victims.
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