The Santa Barbara Police Department has, for the moment, stopped actively looking the remains of Ramona Price in the area of interest that body-sniffing dogs hit upon two weeks ago. Caltrans will now oversee the excavation work.
Seven-year-old Price went missing on September 2, 1961, as she walked near her home on Modoc Road. Authorities believe she was murdered by convicted child-killer Mack Ray Edwards and possibly buried near the Winchester Overpass in Goleta. Crews started digging last week, but so far have found nothing.
According to police spokesperson Lieutenant Paul McCaffrey, the SBPD is no longer directing the search effort, but Caltrans will continue with its planned work to tear down the remaining portions of the old overpass. A single detective will remain on-scene in case evidence is uncovered, said McCaffrey.
The cadaver dogs likely showed interest in the specific spot because of underground seepage from an unrelated burial location a significant distance away, explained McCaffrey, who didn’t offer much information on the grave. “Such a burial could be much older than the Ramona Price case,” he said. If and when additional searches get underway, they will be limited to “areas believed accessible during the original overcrossing construction, completed a few weeks after Ramona Price’s disappearance,” said McCaffrey.