Investigators searching for a 14-year-old Ambler girl yesterday were led to the yard of a Blue Bell home, where they discovered a body - matching the missing teenager's description - in a plastic tub.
A law enforcement source last night confirmed the body was that of Ebony Nicole Dorsey, a freshman at Wissahickon High School who was last seen Thursday night.
Montgomery County First District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the clothing on the body was consistent with what the girl had been wearing - a pink top, white pajama pants, and a tan jacket with fur around the hood - when reported missing.
An autopsy was to be performed last night, Ferman said, and investigators remained on the hunt for a family friend who was last seen with the girl.
More than 75 police officers and firefighters had been searching for the teenager over the weekend. Just before 3 p.m. yesterday, they swarmed to a house at 1302 Union Meeting Rd. in Whitpain Township with search dogs.
Outside, they found the body in a large, blue plastic tub that was concealed by leaves.
Friends and family, gathered across from the property, sobbed as firefighters hung a green tarp that blocked the tub from view.
At Dorsey's home in Ambler last night, a stream of friends and relatives passed through to offer condolences. Family members said they were too distraught to be interviewed; those gathered had concluded from information passed on to them by investigators that the body was Dorsey's.
"I just want everyone to know what a good girl she was," said family friend Tanitra Thompson. "She was an honor-roll student and loved by everyone. We will miss her, and she will always be in our hearts."
Dorsey was last seen by her mother at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, when the girl left to babysit for family friend Mark O'Donnell. Police are now seeking O'Donnell for questioning.
Whitpain Township Police Chief Mark A. Smith described O'Donnell, 48, as a "person of interest" and said investigators want to question him about Dorsey's disappearance.
Ferman told reporters last night: "We have reason to believe he could be involved."
Ferman would not say what led police to the Blue Bell home where the body was found but confirmed that it was owned by relatives of O'Donnell's.
Dorsey left her home with O'Donnell to babysit for his 4-year-old daughter, Smith said. She did not show up at school Friday but was not reported missing by her mother, Danielle Cattie, until Friday evening.
The police chief said Cattie did not know whether her daughter had returned home during that time.
He also said the last call made to the girl's cell phone was from her father, Evan Dorsey, at 7 a.m. Friday. He called his daughter every day at that time, Smith said.
The call was routed to a tower on Jolly Road in Whitpain, midway between O'Donnell's house and the girl's Ambler home, Smith said. That indicates the girl's phone was in the area, Smith said.
An investigator spoke briefly with O'Donnell early Saturday, but police have been unable to contact him again, Smith said. At that time, he told officers he had driven the girl home at 6 a.m. Friday.
"He's sure not making himself available," Smith said.
Sharon Lee, who said she was both O'Donnell's cousin and Dorsey's "adopted grandmother," said O'Donnell had been looking for a lawyer because he knew police were focusing attention on him.