MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) - Federal and local officials finally elaborated about a dig site in Macomb Township, three days into a search investigation they say is tied to multiple decades-long cold cases.
The FBI, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts and Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer spoke to the media Wednesday afternoon at the 24-acre search location near 23 Mile and North Avenue. Dwyer repeated they're "cautiously optimistic" they will find remains.
Authorities have said they believe the remains of Kimberly King will be found at the site. She was 12 when she disappeared in 1979. King's sister Konnie Beyma and best friend Annie Godbhout were also at the press conference. Godbhout was the last person to see King alive.
Dwyer said they reopened the cold case last fall but couldn't start the search until the weather and ground conditions improved. Meanwhile, he says the suspect in this case, Arthur Ream, "isn't going anywhere" because he's already serving life in prison for killing Cindy Zarzycki, who disappeared in 1986. Her remains were found at the same location after Ream pinpointed a spot to police back in 2008.
Dwyer said King's investigation was reopened when they learned Ream, 68, bragged to fellow inmates about murdering 4-6 other girls. That's why authorities believe other remains in addition to King's could be found.
"We do have probable cause to believe this is a gravesite," Dwyer said. "No question about it, that Kimberly King and other young female victims who were murdered are buried here. That's why we're going to put a lot of time and effort into it."
Ream hasn't been cooperative in this investigation, though, like he was back in 2008. Dwyer said police have tried talking to him multiple times, and that he failed a polygraph test at one point. Dwyer did clarify, though, that Ream is not the suspected Oakland County Child killer, because he was in prison from 1974-1978. The Oakland County Child Killer's crimes terrorized the area from 1976-1977.
Meanwhile, the 24 acre dig site is being narrowed down based on where new growth has been. Dwyer said crews really didn't start systematically searching until Tuesday, after clearing trees and brush on Monday.
Dwyer said crews will stay out there "as long as it takes" to make a recovery. He added that bringing closure to King's family -- as well as the multiple other families that could be involved, too -- is what's key.
Dwyer ended the press conference saying, "The next time you hear from us will be when we make a discovery of remains."