BSU students, police search for body in decades old cold case

Posted at 9:43 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 23:43:16-05

For more than 50 years, Gene Richey has been searching for answers in the case of his missing mother Lillian Richey.

Back in 1963, after having dinner and drinks with friends, one of those friends dropped Lillian off at her Nampa home, but when the friends went to pick her up for breakfast the next morning, she was no where to be found.

"We need to find some kind of closing for her life,” said Gene.

Geophysics students at Boise State University have teamed up with the Nampa Police Department to search an area under the Nampa School District Administration Building in hopes of finding her remains.

They are conducting the search at that building in particular because Lillian lived just a few blocks away and the building was constructed right around the time she went missing. It’s long been rumored her body was buried in the foundation. 

The team is using high powered radio frequencies that penetrate the ground and sends a signal back, giving them a picture which shows the makeup of the soil.

“We’re looking for some anomalous signal that would indicate someone has excavated the ground or perhaps buried someone,” explained BSU geophysics student Tate Meehan.

Cadaver dogs alerted the team to a few areas under the building, allowing them to target their search areas.

“There is a lot of literature on using this method for exploring for bodies and the success rate is pretty high especially when coupled with cadaver dogs,” said Meehan.

While it can be a tedious task in a small confined space, they said they are up for the challenge. 

"if it means determining the potential area of this body of its burial sight, then any time is worth it,” said Meehan.

And the Richey family is hoping for answers in a mystery that has haunted them for more than a half century.

“Just to find real closure would make us feel good,” said Gene.