Backyard Dig Ends Without Yielding Clues in 35-Year-Old Cold Case

The dig is part of a cold case investigation involving a woman who vanished in 1978

Heavy machinery and cadaver dogs joined a backyard dig in Glendora Thursday as part of a cold case investigation dating back more than three decades, but the extra manpower did not yield any clues and the excavation was halted.

The home in the 500 block of Essex Street is where Wendy Byron lived before she disappeared in 1978. On Wednesday, homicide detectives began digging in the backyard looking for "evidence in that case."

Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau brought in heavy machinery included a backhoe and a slip loader Thursday to further excavate the yard.

A sonar device did pick up anomalies in the soil, but those could be something as simple as rocks or different types of soil, authorities said.

Despite the presence of a large forensics team and the arrival of members of the coroner's office, sherrif's Lt. Holly Francisco insisted this is a "missing persons" investigation.

"This is not a crime," Francisco said.

Cadaver dogs also brought to the scene did not detect anything, authorities said.

The residents living in the Glendora home have been there for 20 years and are cooperating with the investigation, authorities said. The dig wrapped up Thursday evening and nothing was discovered at the location.

Earlier in the day, a detective at the scene told NBC4 he is "not enthusiastic" that the excavation will yield answers in the case.

Byron was 24 years old when she vanished on Aug. 26, 1978. Her car was later found abandoned at Ontario International Airport.

Rob Byron, who was married to Wendy when she went missing, moved away years ago and eventually settled in Covina.

"It was a long time ago. I hope they find her," Rob Byron told NBC4 Wednesday night, declining any further comment.

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