SANTA BARBARA (CBS) — Santa Barbara police Wednesday will search a torn-down section of the 101 Freeway with cadaver dogs in the hopes of finding remains of a 7-year-old girl last seen nearly 50 years ago.

Ramona Irene Price was last seen September 2, 1961. On that same day, her family was moving from Santa Barbara to a home in Goleta, about 5 miles away.

The tiny dark-haired girl said she wanted to walk to the new home, and her father told her to “go to it.” He said it jokingly, figuring she would go a few blocks and return.

Around the time the young girl disappeared, an overpass was being built at Winchester Canyon Road.

For the past four years, investigators have believed the girl’s disappearance and the building of the overpass are linked.

Now that the overpass is being torn down, officials believe it is their best chance of solving this cold case.

CBS2’s Suraya Fadel spoke tonight with Barney Brantingham, a Santa Barbara resident and a Santa Barbara News Press reporter who covered the case back in 1961. He still chokes up whenever he discusses little Romona Price.

Authorities will hold a press conference Wednesday, at the site of the search, and reportedly even name a suspect in the girl’s disappearance. Fadel reports that man, now deceased is Mack Ray Edwards — a construction worker who worked on the overpass.

Ramona Price would be celebrating her 57th birthday in ten days.


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