MENDOTA - Only months before Todd Blumhorst lost his battle with cancer on Sept. 29, 2013, he was optimistic that a new lead had been found in the 1990 disappearance of his sister.
Specially trained cadaver dogs twice identified a potential last resting place for Veronica Jill Blumhorst in the Bartlett Woods/Knox Grove area of Lee County in late 2012 and again in June 2013.
Veronica was 21 at the time she ended her shift at a Mendota grocery store on Sept. 20, 1990.
She was never seen again.
Her family has looked for closure in her case ever since and the possibility that the cadaver dogs may have located a body last year has now turned up empty.
A press release from the Mendota Police Department Wednesday stated law enforcement officers from the local police department, the Lee County Sheriff's Department, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigations Unit and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources excavated the area identified by cadaver dogs in 2012 and 2013.
There were no signs of any human remains.
The excavation followed months of investigation into early settlements and Native American tribal activity in the area now known as the Bartlett Woods/Knox Grove area. Law enforcement officials worked in conjunction with the Lee County Historical Society and the Lee County Water and Soil Conservation District.
The case remains open and under investigation according to Mendota police.
Tamara Abbey can be reached at (815) 539-5200 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_Mendota.