Carpet may be clue in woman's disappearance

Posted: Updated:

Police say carpet found by a suburban highway may be linked to a convicted sex offender who was the last person seen with a missing Brooklyn woman.

State Police Lt. Brian Shortall said Saturday that investigators combing an area near Bloomingburg have found pieces of rug that may be from Michael Mele's apartment. The carpeting was spotted near State Route 17, about 80 miles northwest of Manhattan.

The rug will be tested to determine whether it is linked to Mele, considered a "person of interest" in Laura Garza's disappearance. The 25-year-old left a Manhattan nightclub with Mele early on Dec. 3. She was last seen with him hours later near his Wallkill apartment.

According to reports, police have questioned Mele?s girlfriend, Lindsay Campbell, of Bloomingburg. Police say Campbell has cooperated with the investigation, but she is not a suspect. Police, along with Garza?s two brothers, searched the woods and surrounding area of Campbell?s apartment in Bloomingburg late last week.

Mele has not been charged in Garza?s disappearance, but he is being held on $100,000 bail on a probation violation charge. According to police, he has not answered any questions about Garza under the direction of his attorney.

AP wire reports contributed to this article.

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