A Cadaver Dog Helps Gulfport Fire Investigators Sniff Out Clues

For about 30 minutes, Stevie, a cadaver dog, stayed busy sniffing the scene of a fire investigation at the Courtyard Apartments in Gulfport.  He led investigators to what they call "areas of interest," areas that could uncover anything from human remains to human waste or  an open sewer line.

Fire Chief Pat Sullivan says no matter what the outcome, Stevie's discoveries are still quite useful in the investigation.

"It doesn't mean the dog was not successful in what he was doing.  It means that we have to search to make sure we're not missing any small things.  With a fire this intense, we would expect a body may not be in one piece."

Investigators will comb through Stevie's marked areas Friday.  Although Sullivan can't be sure it's a crime scene, he says the department is taking all the necessary steps in the investigation.

In the event we end up in court on the back end, we will have evidence in tact and no one can say the evidence was mishandled and the scene wasn't handled properly.

While investigators continue gathering evidence, previous activity at the complex does point to one possibility.

"There's been witnessed activity of homeless or transient people coming in and out of the building that's why we're doing the search with the dog."

Starting Friday, Sullivan says the ATF and state fire marshal's office will bring dogs to look for any signs of arson.