Police chief visits crews searching landfill for missing Phoenix mom

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Search crews on Friday wrapped up the second week of scouring a Buckeye landfill for the remains of a Phoenix mother who has been missing since May.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Alan Pfohl said when the search started on Oct. 23 that nine weeks had been allotted to search for Christine Mustafa.

[SPECIAL SECTION: The search for missing Phoenix mom Christine Mustafa]

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams was on site at the SR85 Landfill Friday.

“The great thing about seeing what I saw today is the heart and soul of law enforcement and the community coming together as one,” she said. “We’re here for hope. We’re here because we took an oath to make sure that we’re going to exhaust every effort to … really try to find Christine.”

[WATCH RAW VIDEO: Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams]

It’s no small effort. The search area is larger than a football field and 14 feet deep. Search teams are carefully raking through between 300 and 500 tons of garbage every day during the week.

“She has been in here for approximately six months,” Pfohl said Friday. “So, what we’re going to be looking for is basically human remains.”

[WATCH RAW VIDEO: Sgt. Alan Pfohl]

“They have to concentrate so hard because she (Mustafa) can be easy to miss,” Pfohl said last week.

“It’s not the best of conditions whatsoever,” Williams said. “But every person has one goal in mind, and that goal is to really exhaust the efforts, bring someone to justice, and just do what’s right and what we all signed up to do.”

Mustafa's live-in boyfriend, Robert Interval Jr. 37, was arrested in her presumed death. He pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned in late June. Interval was charged with first-degree murder.

Mustafa's friends and family are grateful to the search crews and have been supportive. One woman, Diane Strand is working to supply hot meals for the searchers at least twice a week through the beginning of December.

[READ MORE: Mustafa neighbor coordinates hot lunches for landfill searchers]

For people or businesses interested in donating hot meals or non-perishable snacks, please contact Strand at (602) 380-3100.

There’s also more detailed information posted on her Facebook page.

Searchers will be back at work at the landfill first thing Monday morning.


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