PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Wednesday was the third day in the search for Christine Mustafa at a landfill in Phoenix.
Every day, 30 searchers with the Phoenix Police Department, as well as other valley law enforcement agencies, will put in 10-hour shifts, combing through garbage. On Wednesday, one of the searchers spoke about the efforts, saying the job is tedious, as well as physically and mentally draining.
"We're looking to be able to pick out anything, from bones to clothing to possible body parts," said Officer Zach Clark with Phoenix Police.
Clark volunteered for the job.
"They spread out 3, 4, 5 of landfill debris, and spread it out anywhere from 6 inches to two feet," said Clark.
The 30 searchers then line up, and comb through the debris in straight lines. The goal: to leave no piece unturned.
Each bone they come across gets examined.
"We're definitely going through this with a fine-tooth comb," said Clark. "Whenever we come across some of these, we're making sure to pass them on to investigators to make sure they're not of human origin."
Wearing liquid-proof protective gear and steel sole boots, under the blazing hot sun with no shade, is physically exhausting. In addition, the concentration level is intense.
"An hour at a time of standing behind a rake, slowly looking through stuff, it gets mentally exhausting," said Clark. "Making sure you're paying attention, and not just end up raking and raking."
The searchers must also unravel and check inside larger items, such as rolled-up carpets, rugs, and bins, checking to see if any evidence could be hidden. The hope is to find the missing Phoenix mother, sooner than later.
If they have to, however, searchers will comb through the State Route 85 landfill for a total of nine weeks.