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Santa Barbara police scale back hunt for remains of girl who disappeared in 1961

June 27, 2011 |  2:24 pm

After nearly a week of excavating beside a freeway bridge, Santa Barbara police said Monday that they have scaled back their hunt for the remains of a little girl who disappeared in 1961.

Police were drawn to the bridge spanning the 101 Freeway in Goleta because it was built around the time of Ramona Price’s disappearance as well around the time that Mack Ray Edwards, a confessed serial killer, worked at the site as a heavy equipment operator.

Cadaver dogs last week alerted officials to an area on the bridge’s embankment, but digging over the next few days did not uncover the 7-year-old girl’s remains, according to a statement from the police.

“Reasons for the alert include underground seeping from an unrelated burial located a significant distance away,” the statement said. “Such a burial could be much older than the Ramona Price case.”

A long-planned demolition of the bridge is being completed this week and police detectives will stay at the scene to check for possible evidence.


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Photo: Santa Barbara police Det. Jaycee Hunter last week works with her search dog to find the remains of 7-year-old Ramona Price, who may have been buried near the 101 Freeway in Goleta. Credit: Thomas Watkins / Associated Press