BLOOMINGBURG - (AP) - Police say carpet found by a suburbanhighway may be linked to a convicted sex offender who was the lastperson seen with a missing Brooklyn woman.

State Police Lt. Brian Shortall said Saturday that investigatorscombing an area near Bloomingburg have found pieces of rug that maybe from Michael Mele's apartment. The carpeting was spotted nearState Route 17, about 80 miles northwest of Manhattan.

The rug will be tested to determine whether it is linked toMele, considered a "person of interest" in Laura Garza'sdisappearance. The 25-year-old left a Manhattan nightclub with Meleearly on Dec. 3. She was last seen with him hours later near hisWallkill apartment.

Mele has not been charged in her disappearance, but he is beingheld on $100,000 bail on a probation violation charge.