After receiving a tip, police created an excavation site in the backyard of the house where Whitton’s boyfriend was living at the time of her disappearance.
Police spent five hours digging in the backyard of the house, where they thought they might find evidence or her body, said Officer David Baldwin, spokesman for the Marietta police.
Police completed the search warrant at the house Tuesday, and will not have to return to the house, Baldwin said.
After a day of looking, police left the scene with boxes of envelopes, but they didn’t find any noteworthy evidence, Baldwin said.
The next step in the investigation, Baldwin said, is logging the evidence they found.
“Anything they found, they’ll have to have it examined for any evidentiary value to see if it’s relevant to the case,” Baldwin said.
The house is on Elkhart Circle, near Powder Springs Road, and belongs to the mother of Ashley Christopher Caudle. Caudle is booked in the Cobb County jail on charges unrelated to Whitton’s disappearance.
Whitton, 27, was last seen with Caudle on Sept. 13, 2013, at 2 a.m. in front the Wal-Mart on Cobb Parkway, police said. Whitton, who has green eyes and blonde hair. She is 5-foot-7 inches tall and weighed 100 pounds when she was last seen.
She disappeared “without a trace,” Baldwin said.
Police named Caudle a person of interest when Whitton went missing, but no further information was released about his involvement in the investigation, Baldwin said.
Caudle has been in jail since he was arrested in March on charges of felony possession of 3.8 grams of methamphetamine, felony possession of a firearm, misdemeanor reckless conduct for endangering a person under the age of 18 and one count of felony parole violation.
Caudle’s bond is set at $5,000, but he has not been bailed out.
Police spent hours Tuesday combing through the house, where Bailey is raising Caudle’s 2-year-old daughter.
Bailey said she hadn’t seen what detectives had taken from her home, but had nothing to hide.
“There’s nothing in my backyard,” Bailey said.
The mother said the only thing buried behind her house is her dog. Caudle didn’t live with her full time, Bailey said, because he was addicted to drugs.
“This is my opinion of Ashley: He has things in his life he could improve on,” Bailey said. “He’s a good guy if he’s not using drugs.”
Bailey admitted her son was unpredictable when he was on drugs.
Neighbors peered out of their homes Tuesday afternoon to look at Bailey’s home, which was surrounded by police cars and crime scene tape.
A brother and sister living a few houses down said they knew Caudle well. Dana Wortman, of Marietta, who works as a dental assistant at Dentistry for Children, said she went to high school with Caudle.
“It’s kind of creepy to think that would happen in your neighborhood,” she said after hearing for the first time Tuesday Whitton had been missing for nine months.
Her brother, Chris Wortman, who has lived on the street for 30 years, said he knew Caudle had a drug problem, which caused trouble at home.
“I know (Caudle and Whitton) used to fight a lot,” Chris Wortman said. “It makes me feel a little uncomfortable.”