A fresh search for missing victims of Colonial Parkway murders

By: Tara Morgan - bio | email

YORKTOWN, VA (WWBT) - A grueling search in Yorktown Saturday for human remains and new clues in the decades old Colonial Parkway murders cold case.

The murders of six people and the disappearance of two others have remained unsolved since the 80's.

Both the FBI and State Police are investigating.

Saturday victim's relatives and a small group of volunteers braved the stifling heat to look for evidence along the Colonial Parkway.

One group canvassed an area near an old cemetery about mile from where the victim's car was found.

Brianna, a two-year-old Australian Shepherd cadaver dog, led the way for Joyce Call-Canada.

22 years ago, her younger brother Keith vanished on his first date with Cassandra Hailey.

"It is time," said Call-Canada. "It's been so long it's time to find something and to put closure to this. It's hard not knowing where they're at."

John Suitt with K9 Alert Search and Rescue focused on an area about a mile from the York River Overlook where Keith's car was found abandoned in 1988.

In the first 15 minutes Brianna honed in on a scent.

"In that particular instance she smelled something down in (under) the ground," Suitt said.

"I didn't know what to think it's exciting," said Call-Canada.

Suitt marked the spot so a second dog could be brought in for another look.

"Probably the park rangers will come in and determine if this is something related to the cemetery," said Suitt.

The five hour search in the stifling heat had a rocky start.

"A lot of people came a long way and spent a lot of time to get this done," said one victim's relative. "Now you're saying we can't go into one of the main places we wanted to go?"

But the searchers frustrations subsided when park rangers eased up on search restrictions.

Former Milwaukee homicide detective Steve Spingola volunteered to help solve the cold case.

"I think we just narrow down the search patterns, continue to work with private investigators, private law enforcement officers, the FBI, the park police - keep on working at this because if you give up someday you'll just never have the answers," he said.

Joyce and relatives of the other seven victims aren't about to stop and plan to search again when the weather is much cooler.

"We're starting to see things happen now," said Call-Canada.

Spingola will continue to look at all the evidence and the results from the search Saturday.

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