CONWAY TOWNSHIP -- Decades after her mysterious disappearance, there were new developments this week in the search for Okemos woman Paige Renkoski.
"Dogs hit on four different areas, and we're just on area No. 1 right now, but it's all within a 25- to 35-yard area," said Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte on Friday.
Cadaver dogs had signaled human remains on Sober Road, a secluded stretch in Livingston County. A team of MSU anthropologists, FBI agents and county CSI experts spent the day digging in four specific areas the dogs had located.
"They're scraping the top of the ground, and they're going by layers," Bezotte said. "And every time they scrape, they're going in and making sure there's nothing there -- human remains or anything."
After five hours, a detective lieutenant emerged with grim news about the search for the woman who hasn't been seen since 1990.
"Unfortunately, we failed to find any evidence of paige, so as of today, she's still missing," said Scott Domine with the sheriffs department. "Obviously, anytime you fail to locate someone, it creates disappointment for us, as well as the family."
Renkoski was last seen on May 24, 1990. A witness said she was standing by her car on the shoulder of I-96 talking with a man. Her car was found in the same spot -- still running, with her purse inside.
But not all is lost in the case. Officials revealed news Friday of a potential lead on a new suspect.
"The new tip we received this past weekend was pretty encouraging about a subject who lives actually in this area, within a half-mile," Bezotte said.
The tip was called in by the man's step-daughter. She described him as violent with the family and said he worked for the Department of Corrections, according to the sheriff.
The man, whose name has not been released, has since moved to another state. Sheriffs officials expect to contact him soon.
All this, despite Friday's disappointment, prompting new hope that a 21-year-old case might still someday be solved.
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