HILLSBORO, Mo. – In an effort to unearth new details in the nearly 14-year search for a missing woman from Hillsboro, crime scene detectives with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office oversaw an excavation Thursday (June 20) in connection with the disappearance of Amanda Jones.
Jones was reported missing in August 2005. She went to the Hillsboro Civic Center to meet the man she believed to be the father of her unborn child. Jones was days away from giving birth when she disappeared.
In May, Fox 2/News 11 was there with Jones’ family as and volunteers from the CUE Center for Missing Persons with cadaver dogs searched the civic center grounds for any sign of Jones. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office did not participate in the search but had a detective on the scene to secure any evidence collected.
The day after the search, the sheriff’s office told Fox 2 no evidence was recovered. However, Thursday it reported the search dogs detected a few locations during that search where human remains might have been buried.
The sheriff’s office said evidence gathered during that search led its team to dig by hand last week. Thursday, they used a backhoe to continue searching. Crime scene experts and an anthropologist oversaw the operation, according to the sheriff’s office.
Dogs were brought out to search the newly exposed ground and they again marked on the scent of human remains. However, no remains were found.
Jones’ family said they were not made aware of the search until it was complete.
"Why didn't they do (an excavation) the day that the searchers were out there? Why didn't they come back the next day instead of waiting this long?" said Bertha Propst, Jones' mother. "There's a lot of questions, but they always tell me they can't tell me anything."
The sheriff’s office says it will continue to investigate new leads. The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to Jones and her unborn son or to the person/people responsible for their disappearance.
If you have any information, please contact the FBI St. Louis at 314-589-2500 or the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau at 636-797-5515.