Just over a year after Michael Jackson's home was first searched by police, Santa Barbara, California, authorities have returned to Neverland once again. Sheriff's investigators started searching the singer's Los Olivos estate at around 9 a.m. Friday (December 3).
Though they wouldn't specify what they were looking for, police say they are executing the search "as part of an ongoing criminal investigation," according to Sgt. Chris Pappas. Investigators are expected to continue searching for the rest of the day.
This marks the second search of Neverland Ranch in connection with the child-molestation charges the singer has been facing since November 2003. The first search occurred on November 18, 2003, the same day that Jackson's Number Ones greatest-hits collection arrived in stores (see "New Allegations Spark Search Of Jackson's Neverland Ranch").
Since then, the pop star was formally charged via two separate arraignments, one in January where he danced on the top of his SUV, and another in April, where he was more demure. Based on the second and most recent indictment, he's charged with multiple felony counts related to lewd acts with a minor, an attempted lewd act on a child and administering an intoxicant to a minor, as well as one felony count of conspiracy related to 28 individual acts, including child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Jackson pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Police also searched the residences and businesses of various Jackson associates on the same day as the first Neverland raid in November as well as in February (see "Deputies Search Home Of Controversial Michael Jackson Associate").
Jackson is scheduled to stand trial on January 31.
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."
[This story was updated at 3:39 p.m. ET on 12.03.2004]