Bone fragments found in the woods near Lake Desolation in Greenfield are being tested to find out if they are related to one of this area's missing children cases. As our Steve Ference reports, the analysis will take weeks, forcing family members of those missing children to wait.
GREENFIELD, N.Y. -- "I needed to see a map," said Barbara Reeley. "I was stunned. I sat there for a few seconds, and I thought this is what might happen one day.
For Barbara Reeley - the grandmother of Jaliek Rainwalker who has been missing since November of 2007 when he was 12 years old - every time investigators find human remains, it becomes a day of tough questions.
Reeley said, "Just a few months before he disappeared, Jaliek said to me, Granny, when I grow up I want to get married and have children, and I said, where do you want to live, and he said wherever my wife wants to because I'm going to love her so much."
And this time, it's no different, after a hunter found parts of what are likely a young child's jaw bone deep in the woods near Lake Desolation in Greenfield.
Reeley said, "I went immediately, who's missing? Sara Anne Wood and Jaliek."
Investigators postponed the search Wednesday because of heavy rain, but the Greenwich police chief tells us State Police believe the bone structure indicates it's likely not the remains of Jaliek, though they're waiting on forensic testing which could take weeks to be sure.
Reeley said, "In 1994, my son went up to the Adirondacks with other searchers to help find Sara Anne Wood. They went searching and digging through snow to find her and they did not find Sara Anne Wood."
She was another 12-year-old missing since 1993, and State Police have been in contact with her family regarding this investigation. Lewis Lent was convicted in her death, but investigators never found her body. Also, 12-year-old Monique Santiago has been missing from Albany in 1990, one of the few other non-family abductions in the region.
And so for now, perhaps more questions than answers as everyone waits to find out whose remains these might be.
"It's been a hard two years to wait," said Reeley.
A number of families look for closure but hope they don't have to fear the worst.