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Renewed search in Clay County for evidence in teen's murder in 2001

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Updated: 9/25/2013 6:35 pm
MAXVILLE, Fla. -- A new search is underway in Clay County on an old case.

Jennifer Medernach, 14, was found dead in Long Branch Creek off County Road 217.

Clay County investigators suspected her body had been dumped there and an autopsy revealed she had died a violent death.

The case went cold when investigators ran into dead ends.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office dive team had training scheduled Wednesday so crews decided to re-search the water under a small bridge on County Road 217 where her body was found in November 2001.

Investigators on scene Wednesday told Action News reporter Kristen Sell the location had been thoroughly searched years ago, but because the training was scheduled, they figured they'd look one more time.

Investigators told Action News Medernach's mother is now deceased, but her father lives in the Jacksonville area and he is aware the dive team is searching the water again.

According to Captain Ronnie Gann with Clay County Sheriff's Office, the dive team has new technology at their disposal today that crews did not have when this section of water was searched back in 2001. Underwater metal detectors have already led the team to a pocket knife and a padlock.

There is no indication these items are related to the case. But investigators are optimistic new leads may be found Wednesday.

Gann said investigators searched a house of interest around the corner in March.  It was abandoned at the time.  The folks who own it consented to search. Nothing of interest was found.
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