Search for clinic bomb witness expands to Georgia
Car with Tennessee license sought
February 11, 1998
A specially trained bloodhound from Texas tries to pick up Rudolph's scent in Helen, Georgia
Web posted at: 2:42 p.m. EST (1942 GMT)
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BLAIRSVILLE, Georgia (CNN) -- The area being searched for a witness in last month's fatal bombing of a woman's clinic was expanded after he reportedly was seen in north
Georgia, law enforcement sources said Wednesday.
Scores of gun-toting officers have scoured the mountainous
area where North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee converge,
searching for North Carolina resident Eric Robert Rudolph,
31. A pickup truck belonging to him was found abandoned over
the weekend south of Murphy, North Carolina, about 30 miles
north of Blairsville.
Rudolph was last seen the night after the January 29 bombing,
renting a video in Murphy.
A clerk at a Circle K convenience store reported seeing
Rudolph get into a white 1989 Volkswagen Jetta with a woman
driver on Tuesday in Blairsville, Georgia, the sources said.
The car, which has not been reported stolen, had the
Tennessee license plate 433-QPD. Tennessee officials said it
is registered to a woman in Farner, Tennessee, about 15 miles
south of Tellico Plains, where Rudolph did carpentry work
The clerk called authorities just as investigators with
bloodhound tracking dogs arrived at the Georgia store, the
sources said. The dogs were following Rudolph's scent,
picked up from his abandoned pickup truck in North Carolina,
the sources said.
In addition, a law enforcement official confirmed that
sniffer dogs may have found an explosive residue in Rudolph's
pickup truck and in a mini-warehouse that he had rented in
the Murphy area.
Also Wednesday, Brian Lett, a spokesman for the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said that agents have
interviewed Rudolph's three brothers, sister and mother.
"It was kind of like, 'We don't hear from him much, and we
don't keep in contact with him,'" Lett said.
Rudolph, who spent 18 months as an Army infantryman in the
late 1980s, was discharged for "conduct-related reasons,"
according to a military source. "He was not compatible with
military service," the source said, without elaborating.
Federal agents said the reported sighting in Blairsville was
one of many they have checked since the bombing at the New
Woman All Women Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. The clinic,
which provides abortions and family planning services,
reopened one week after the blast.
The bomb killed Robert Sanderson, 35, a police officer
working as a security guard, and severely injured nurse Emily
Lyons, 41. She remains hospitalized in serious condition.
A group called the Army of God has claimed responsibility for
Correspondent Brian Cabell contributed to this report.