Police believe a body found buried in a California backyard might belong to a teen missing since 2009. Steven Humphrey, reported missing in 2009, reportedly resided in the Fresno neighborhood at the time of his disappearance.
Steven Humphrey was 15 at the time of his disappearance. He and his sister Jessica lived with their father and grandmother.
As reported by the Fresno Bee, Steven left home one evening and never returned. The teen told his sister and grandmother that he was running to the store and would be right back. Steven’s family was concerned, as it was unlike him to stay away from home without calling.
Despite his family’s concern, Fresno police treated the case as a runaway situation. Law enforcement officials closed the case within months.
Steven’s family never gave up. Working with the Polly Klaas Foundation, they posted flyers and maintained information about his disappearance on the website.
Unfortunately, nobody had any information about what happened to the teen until four years later.
Acting on a tip, Fresno Police and homicide detectives produced a search warrant and began digging in a neighbor’s backyard. It took over 20 detectives and a tractor hours to sift through nearly 20 tons of dirt. They eventually recovered remains that appeared to belong to a teenager. The body was taken to the coroner’s office for further identification.
As reported by ABC, Steven’s family believes that the body found might belong to the missing teen. They have been waiting since 2009 for some sense of closure.
Randy Essman, Steven’s uncle stated that they “know he’s not going to come home, but it’s stirring it all up again. He pointed out that the family “has been waiting for this day for four years.”
Police have interviewed several neighbors but have not made any arrests or identified suspects. At this point, police are not confirming or denying whether they were searching for Humphrey when they obtained the search warrant. They simply state that they received a tip that there might be a body buried in the backyard.
Steven’s family remains hopeful that the body found might belong to the teen. They have mourned his disappearance for years and are ready for some solid answers.
[Image via the Polly Klaas Foundation]