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Week long search produces potential evidence and suspects in 20-year-old cold case

ELMORE COUNTY, Ala (WRBL) - A 20-year-old cold case involving an Alabama mother may be thawing out after a week long search in Elmore County produced some potential evidence.

The 300-acre search for the body of Traci Pittman Kegley began Monday, February 26. 

Elmore County District Attorney Randall Houston stated in a press conference Sunday: "I personally do believe the people responsible for her disappearance are in Elmore County, and are still in Elmore County, and when they look over their shoulder, they're going to see us coming."

Houston says searchers discovered a potential piece of evidence beneath the murky waters of a pond within the search area. He would not confirm what exactly that evidence is, but says if it pertains to Kegley's disappearance, it could help close the case.

"All evidence we have could possibly, would be necessary to obtain a conviction, so if this evidence pertains to Traci, then yes, it would be used in any case against any individual."

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Captain Joe Herman says they have developed suspects in this case.

Kegley disappeared in April 1998. Police say they found her car, belongings, and her then 2-year-old daughter. Kegley was never found.

Houston says they received the first real lead in this case a few years ago, setting plans for the week long search into motion. He says they obtained a warrant giving them one week to search what he called the "largest search area ever covered" by Alabama law enforcement agencies.

The search wrapped up early and Houston says he is proud of the results. 

Elmore County resident Randy Cole says searchers worked relentlessly.

"I tell you, they don't forget about you. They was searching real hard," Cole tells News Three's Jessalyn Adams.

Houston spoke with WRBL shortly after revealing the news to Linda and Steve Pittman. 

Sunday, Mrs. Pittman said she was "shocked" to hear authorities had information that could help find her daughter after 20 years. Houston says she was a bit disappointed after learning more didn't come out of the search, but hopeful about the evidence.

The evidence searchers found is being sent to forensics to see if it pertains to Kegley.

CrimeStoppers says that this case is far from over.

Over the week, the reward money doubled. The grand total is $25,000 for any information that leads to a conviction.

CrimeStoppers says any small piece of information could be what closes this case for good. They ask for anyone with information to call them at 334-215-STOP.


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