Kristen Modafferi left North Carolina for a summer in San Francisco when she was just 18 years old. She rented a room in nearby Oakland, California. On June 23, 1997, the young woman vanished without a trace--until maybe now.
Officials with The Kristen Foundation, created in honor of Kristen Modafferi, told the media that her family hired a private detective with a cadaver dog to go to the Oakland home where she lived on Thursday of this week. That cadaver dog picked up the scent of human remains.
"As it turns out, he did find very strong evidence of human remains in the basement of the home in Oakland where Kristen had lived back in 1997," Kristen's father, Bob Modafferi said. "It's 100 percent there are human remains in that basement. Now, the unknown is how old are those remains. Could be 100 years old, could be 20 years old."
There are still several things that require ruling out.
"We don't know if that's Kristen," retired Detective Paul Dostie, who received a call from the private investigator, said. "There are other explanations such as cremation, ashes or Indian burial sites."
— 48 Hours (@48hours) June 26, 2015
Not knowing what happened to Kristen Modafferi is the worst part, according to her dad.
"It's certainly mixed feelings. In a perfect world I'd love to learn Kristen was alive and some unbelievable thing happened to her and she would come back to join our family," Modafferi said. "Short of that, not knowing what happened to her is the worst. So if we're able to get closure and determine this is where Kristen is and get justice for whoever did this to her, that would be a tremendous relief to her family."
Joan Petruski of the Kristin Foundation told the media she has a feeling this would be the year the Modaferri family will get some closure.
"This is our time to get this done," Petruski said. "Eighteen years is a long time and we need to bring her home."
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) June 26, 2015
As difficult as learning Kristin Modafferi died all those years ago will be on her family, if those are indeed her remains, at least they can properly lay their daughter to rest.
Never knowing what happened when a loved one disappears has got to be the most horrible feeling of all.