Johnny Price made a vow to his family that will find his cousin, Sandy Pathresa Rea, who went missing from Shawnee 29 years ago.
And he intends to keep that promise, no matter how long it takes.
Sandy, who was 17, was reported missing from Shawnee on Sept. 19, 1984. Different stories and theories about her disappearance have been abundant over the years, but recently, family members have intently focused themselves on those stories while trying to ask questions and bring forth any new activity for the cold case.
Price said they've learned many of the stories circulating are convoluted, but they aren't giving up. They want to find the truth — and Sandy.
"We're trying to weed through everything to find what's true," he said. "We're committed as we ever were."
Price said the family feels certain they are looking for Sandy's remains, yet they still need that closure and to give her a proper burial.
"In my heart, I wish I could say I have hope," Price said.
Shawnee Police Detective Sgt. Greg Gibson, assigned the case since 1992, desperately wants to see this case solved for the family.
"The bottom line is someone in this town knows something," Gibson said, adding it would be helpful if anyone with personal knowledge about Sandy's disappearance comes forward.
For years, it was reported that Sandy went missing from Shawnee Bowl on North Harrison Street, with reports indicating she was trying to get a ride to a party and was last seen making a phone call from the bowling alley. Witness statements in later years of the investigation indicated there were later sightings of her at parties at Shawnee Twin Lakes and at a local motel.
Hundreds of people have been interviewed as part of the investigation over the years, some of them three to four times, Gibson said. Numerous leads have been followed and many places have been searched for a body, yet there's been no sign of Sandy.
"I hope and pray at some point someone comes forward with what happened," Gibson said.
Price said the family needs closure for Sandy's mother, who has spent years searching for her daughter.
"It's like an open wound," Price said. "We need this thing solved…we need to put an end to the mystery."
As the family faces the 29th anniversary of Sandy's disappearance this week, Price hopes anyone with information will help.
"It's never too late to have the will and desire to do the right thing," Price said. "People should have enough integrity and desire to step up."
The family is getting help in their personal search from Tom Bottoms, a local private investigator, along with leads being generated on a Facebook page.
Page 2 of 2 - With the disappearance unsolved for nearly three decades, many people who could be potential witnesses are getting older and some may have even passed away, Price said, adding this is a crucial time for the case.
Anyone with information can contact Shawnee Police Sgt. Gibson at 405-878-1639.