VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Volusia County deputies spent much of this week searching a wooded area for the body of a woman who investigators said was slain in 2011.
Mandy Ciehanoski’s boyfriend, Michael Annicchiarico, pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. He had originally been facing a first-degree murder charge for Ciehanoski’s death, but as part of a plea deal, he agreed to show authorities where he said buried her body three years ago.
About 40 searchers and two cadaver dogs spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday looking in a wooded area in southern Flagler County, just north of Ormond Beach.
"In my mind, they're not looking for my 31-year-old daughter, they're looking for my 3-year-old baby girl and that's how I feel in my heart," said Ciehanoski's mother, Debbie Ciehanoski. "It brings relief to think they're possible going to find her, but it also brings back all the horror that she went through."
Annicchiarico said he remembered dumping the body near a pump house, but after three years those remains could have been scattered anywhere, making it difficult job for searchers.
"There are a couple of other structures similar in nature close by and we're looking around those as well just to make sure," said Brand Haught of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
As of Wednesday afternoon, nothing had been found and no more searches have been planned, officials said.
Investigators said Annicchiarico lied to them in 2011 when Ciehanoski disappeared from Holly Hill.
He was arrested and eventually indicted on first-degree murder charges based on evidence that included bloody sheets, discarded latex gloves and blood in the car he'd been driving, investigators said.
As a part the plea deal, Annicchiarico had to point out where he hid Ciehanoski's body. In exchange, he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.
Annicchiarico became the prime suspect in Ciehanoski's death shortly after she was reported missing in February 2011.
Ciehanoski's family waited a week before reporting the 31-year-old’s disappearance because they said she had gone missing in the past and always returned.