Pick-Up Truck Driven By Celina Cass' Stepfather Seized By Police

A Suspicious Truck in the Cass Case
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Police investigating the suspicious death of 11-year-old Celina Cass focused on the fifth grader's home today, taking a truck that neighbors said was driven by the girl's stepfather.

Investigators hauled away a silver pickup truck from the Cass home this afternoon, part of their continued search for evidence and witnesses.

Neighbor Shannon Towle told ABCNews.com that Wendell Noyes, Celina's stepfather, drives a truck matching that description. She often sees Noyes at her husband's West Stewartstown store, Towles Mini Mart, where he is a regular customer.

"I know he drives a pickup," she said. "It's silver."

She said in the small town of 800 the fact that he drives a silver pickup is "common knowledge."

The Associated Press also reported today that neighbors identified the pickup truck as a vehicle that is driven by Noyes.

Celina Cass' Stepfather Wendell Noyes: Past Arrest, Strange Behavior

Noyes, 47, was taken by ambulance to a hospital Monday after behaving bizarrely. His odd behavior and hospitalization came about the same time that searchers found Celina's body in a nearby river next to a dam.

The house was later surrounded by crime scene tape.

Court documents obtained by ABC News reveal that Celina's stepfather, Wendell Noyes, has a troubled past.

In 2003, the stepfather was involuntarily committed to a hospital because of schizophrenia and arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend, according to court documents.

Noyes was charged with violating a protective order held by his ex-girlfriend and for criminal trespassing, criminal threatening and hindering apprehension. The girlfriend, who lived with her two kids at the time, said Noyes broke into her home while she was sleeping, lifted her mattress and slammed it down and then threatened to throw her down the stairs.

While awaiting trial, a judge ruled Noyes incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be involuntarily placed in a hospital. Judge Richard Hampe wrote that Noyes' mental illness creates "a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself and others." A forensic examiner deemed Noyes a paranoid schizophrenic who likely developed his mental illness while in the Air Force, according to court documents.

So far nobody, including Noyes, has been named a suspect in Celina's disappearance and death.

New Hampshire Town Prepares for Celina Cass' Funeral, and Cause of Death

Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said Tuesday evening that Celina's autopsy has been completed and the cause and manner of death are still pending.

A dive team pulled Celina's remains from the Connecticut River Monday, just a quarter mile from her hometown of West Stewartstown, N.H.

"The death certificate indicates the cause and manner of death are pending toxicology reports and further investigation," Young said at a brief news conference Tuesday evening.

Despite these findings, Young said, the Attorney General's office continues to investigate the death as suspicious based on "a visual observation of Miss Cass' body both in and out of water." Young warned the community to remain vigilant.

"It's kind of overwhelming for the whole town," said Shannon Towle, 48, who lives across the street from the Cass family. "I just don't think they're sharing everything. I hope they have more to go on."

The town is scared, Towle said, adding she's especially worried because she has a 13-year-old daughter.

Celina, was last seen Monday evening, July 25, at a computer in the home where she lives with her mother, stepfather and 13-year-old sister.

As the town awaits more information about Celina's death, her body has been turned over to the family, the Associated Press reported.

The memorial service for Celina Cass will be in West Stewartstown, according to a Facebook post from consignment shop Lads and Ladybugs, where Celina's mother, Louisa Noyes, works. The store will be closed until Monday, August 8.

Despite the town's heartbreak over Celina's death, West Stewartstown will hold its annual children's festival, called Stewartstown Days, in honor of Celina.

"We're hoping this is going to be the first step in our healing process," a festival committee member told ABCNews.com.

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