Furry officer Cliff on-duty in search of Eric, no progress on 10th day of SAR

Steven (left) and Cliff returning from their afternoon search operation.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, March 16: Cliff, the five-year-old search and rescue (SAR) dog, is on-duty today in the search for Eric Chang, who has been missing for 10 days now.

The English Springer Spaniel joined the search operation in the vicinity of Muara Tebas with its handler Steven Ambu at about 10.15am this morning.

The search lasted for about 45 minutes but to no avail.

From 2.15pm to 3.36pm during high-tide, the team tried again and returned without any news.

The search operation did not last very long as the weather was scorching hot and Cliff could not stand the heat.

Steven said Cliff has been serving in the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) K9 unit of the Serian Division for three years now, since 2018 when he was transferred to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur.

Steven and Cliff will be on 24-hour standby until their shift ends for today. Yesterday, it was another team comprising Kenneth Masir and his English Springer Spaniel by the name of Bella.

Today is the fourth day of the SAR operation for four-year-old Eric since Sunday (March 13).

The entire squad including the marine police have been stationed at the Muara Tebas pier since 9am today.

Eric was reported missing from Taman Riverview, Bintawa on March 7. Four days later on March 11, four suspects including Eric’s parents and babysitter were arrested to assist in investigations.

On March 13, there was a dramatic turn of events when it was reported that Eric’s body was believed to have been dumped at the Muara Tebas pier by two suspects, who remain in police custody.

The same day, the investigation was reclassified from under Section 31(1)(1) of the Child Act 2001 for negligence and neglect of child care to Section 302 of the penal code for murder. — DayakDaily