POCATELLO (AP) — Relatives of a girl killed three decades ago in eastern Idaho say they are disappointed authorities have not been able to solve the case despite recent attempts that appeared to offer a resolution.
‘‘I think we’re getting back to that hopeless feeling,’’ Wilma Myers told the Idaho State Journal. ‘‘You just kind of get depressed — the idea the investigators will tell the family we have all these things to go on, and then nothing happens.’’
Myers’ sister, 12-year-old Tina Anderson, and 15-year-old Patricia Campbell disappeared in 1978 from a crowded celebration at a park in the city.
Hunters found their bodies in October 1981 in an Oneida County gorge.
Police formed a multiagency task force in 2006 to examine the case and try to find new evidence, which included a 2007 excavation of the site where the bodies were found.
After that excavation, Oneida County Sheriff Jeff Semrad said officials found ‘‘two key pieces of evidence,’’ and that a grand jury might be convened.
However, news conferences have stopped. Semrad earlier this month said releasing more information could alert suspects who then might run.
‘‘The best I can give you is that we are still actively investigating the cold case,’’ he said in a Nov. 20 statement. ‘‘Investigators are following up on leads as they come in and working with agencies in Idaho and others states in reference to the case.’’
Last week, he told the newspaper that one item being analyzed by the FBI was a rock that appeared to have a fingerprint on it.
He said a grand jury wasn’t convened because prosecutors decided against it.
‘‘Everything is on hold as far as that goes,’’ Semrad said.
He did say that detectives earlier this year collected DNA samples from individuals he identified as people of interest.
County Prosecutor Dustin Smith declined to comment about specifics, but said he is working with the state attorney general’s office.
‘‘The investigation is ongoing. The prosecution is ongoing. Any comment would have to be made by the AG’s office,’’ Smith said.
Kriss Bivens Cloyd, spokeswoman for the attorney general, declined to comment.
The 1981 investigation unearthed Tina Anderson’s skull, which had a small hole on the right side. Investigators also found several .22-caliber casings.
But all that evidence, along with that of an unidentified girl, disappeared. What happened to it and when it disappeared is unclear.
‘‘We are still working on that,’’ Semrad said. ‘‘But we haven’t found anything yet.’’
Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen, who is taking part in the investigation, said DNA technology could eventually help in solving the case.
‘‘Time is always on our side,’’ Nielsen said. ‘‘There are people who know what happened. There are people who were there. As we start putting this puzzle together, we feel comfortable with the picture we’re getting.’’