Another search in northern Nevada turned up no sign of a missing Carson City woman whose 3-year-old son was abandoned at a store 12 miles from their home.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said while Saturday's search in the hills just east of Carson City was fruitless, additional searches might be conducted for Bertha Anguiano, 33.
Search-and-rescue team members also found nothing in the desert east of Carson City earlier in the week.
"The fact we're doing search-and-rescue operations does not imply that we think she has been killed," Furlong said. "Certainly, until we narrow down the path of events that took place we have to take that into consideration."
Anguiano has been missing since Monday, when her scratched and bloodied son, Andrew, turned up in Dayton east of Carson City and said she had been killed.
Juan Carlos Tellez, a laborer with no fixed address, became a focus of the investigation after the boy said Tellez hit him and his mother, and pushed them from a truck.
Investigators later learned the married mother of three had a relationship with Tellez in recent weeks.
Furlong said investigators have determined Tellez was in Fallon the weekend before the mother's disappearance. They plan to return Monday to complete interviews with his friends in the town 60 miles east of Carson City.
"We know where he was staying last weekend and up to mid-day Monday," he said. "She was not seen with him there."
Asked to elaborate, the sheriff replied, "The details have yet to be completed. We need to complete the follow-up interviews in Fallon."
Furlong said he thinks the woman and Tellez are still in northern Nevada, but he's baffled by the case.
"This is absolutely bizarre," he said. "We have a mother with a very young son, who did nothing but spend time together. All the sudden, she's missing and he's injured. It has been very difficult to link the scenarios together."