MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -

Searchers are focusing on a specific area near a Miami Gardens canal as they continue to look for the remains of Lynda Meier, who was last seen a year ago.

A K-9 cadaver dog alerted crews to a 15-by-15-yard area northwest of a pond near the Snake Creek Canal on Tuesday. Other K-9s confirmed the alert, and searchers zeroed in on the area, using string and nails to create a meticulous grid.

"It was under the canopy of trees there, and it's on the ground," said Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy. "It's a kind of hardened surface, but we're in the process of digging through that area right now."

Crews plan to search the area for the next few days in the hope of determining if Meier's remains were buried there.

"We take that soil and that dirt, and then it's taken to an area. It's sifted, and what comes out of the sifter is then examined by the crime scene unit," Flournoy said.

The team of investigators began searching the area with dogs after adding up several puzzle pieces, including evidence, witness testimony and the final known whereabouts of Meier, 40, who was last seen June 4, 2010.

Meier's credit cards were used at a Miami Lakes Walmart store shortly after her disappearance by two women claiming to have gotten them from Dallas King, according to police. Investigators said Meier had no connection with King, but she did have a relationship with a friend of his, Antwan Kennedy.

King and Kennedy have been named people of interest in Meier's disappearance.

"I think of her all the time. I think, 'Where could she be?'" said Sharon Moses-Solano, a friend.

The search involves Hallandale Beach and Miami-Dade police, as well as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.