(WJBK) - It was February of 1976 when 12-year-old Mark Stebbins disappeared.
He was playing pool with his brother at the American Legion Hall in Ferndale and decided to go home early to watch a movie. But he never made it.
"Everything went south from there," his brother Michael Stebbins said.
His body found days later in a snow bank. Mark Stebbins was the first of four young victims murdered by the Oakland County Child Killer in 1976 and 1977. Although there have been possible suspects over the years, the murders remain unsolved.
"It tore my life apart for a long time. It did," Michael said.
But now he feels a little bit of hope as he watches the news about another cold case from the 1970's. The FBI is currently searching a wooded area in northern Macomb County, looking for the remains of 12-year-old Kimberly King.
Authorities also have reason to believe 4-6 other girls could be buried in the area. Stebbins says the focus on these cold cases may also help his brother's case.
"Hopefully out of all this maybe we can get something popping up. Get some tips, anything," he said.
And as the decades pass, Stebbins still wonders what would've happened if he left the America Legion at the same time as his brothers.
"I left probably an hour after he did. Maybe if I would've went home with him. Who's to say? I might have been able to save him because maybe they wouldn't have been looking for two kids," he said.
Stebbins says he will never be able to shake those feelings of guilt.