KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A mother and sister hopes for closure after a cold case was reopened in the search for a woman who disappeared 20 years ago.
Police recently started digging up an empty lot along South 49th Street between Douglas and Barber avenues in the search for Star Boomer, who was last seen in 1999 at a KCK bar.
Boomer's family hopes she finally will be found.
"It's been 20 years, and it's been enough," Donna Owens, Boomer's sister, told 41 Action News. "I'm tired. Mom's tired."
That doesn't mean Boomer's loved ones ever gave up hope or forget her.
"She was pure at heart," Owens said. "She was a good lady, good woman, good sister."
While photographs of Boomer are all her family has now, they hope for the chance to lay her to rest next to her sister who recently passed. That same sister worked hard to solve her case.
"She just said, 'Mom, I know we're going to find her,' and I said, 'I know we are too, whether anybody else believes that or not,'" Boomer's mother, Hazel Hurtie, told 41 Action News.
Investigators continued digging for a third straight day on the lot where a house once stood that Boomer shared with a boyfriend. It was located two blocks from this bar where she was last seen.
"I still believe that this day, she will be found," Hurtie said.
Detectives working the case share that sentiment.
"I would love nothing more than to be able find her and be able to give her back to her family at Christmas," KCK Police Department Detective Tiffany Burgtorf said.
A team of investigators used heavy machinery to reach what used to be the basement of the house, which was demolished in 2011.
A geological team from the University of Kansas worked at the scene Wednesday with ground-penetrating radar equipment, but didn't locate any remains or anything of evidentiary value.
Still, the police presence has helped generated new tips.
"People that thought things had been handled or that moved away or haven't kept up that have been reminded, some people that remember overhearing things that they didn't think was important — now that they see that we're still here, things have jogged their memory," Burgtorf said. "We are getting a few tips that have come from that."
Some cadaver dogs were supposed to visit the site Wednesday, but they were sent instead to Bates County to assist in the search for another missing person.
Investigators are hopeful the dog will be able to visit this site before they wrap up the search.