It's been nearly 30 years since 10-year-old Kevin Collins disappeared, but police searched a San Francisco home this week in connection with the case.
Kevin's mother, now 72, said she felt numb. "To see them digging in a building so close to where he disappeared was shocking," Ann Collins said.
Tuesday's search of a backyard and garage of a home near the city's Haight-Ashbury district has renewed interest in the high-profile disappearance in 1984.
Photographs of the freckled-face boy, plastered on milk cartons and posters, turned it into one of the first child disappearances to garner national attention.
The home search was a "follow up to the cold case investigation," police said.
A law enforcement official, speaking anonymously because the warrant was sealed, said a "person of interest" in the disappearance lived in the house at the time.
That person has since died; police said current residents were not suspects.
Police didn't disclose what prompted investigators to seek a search warrant, but cadaver dogs indicated remains were under the concrete in the garage.
Police said a preliminary review showed them to be animal bones, but the San Francisco medical examiner's office was conducting tests on the remains.
Kevin was last seen waiting for a bus after basketball practice; the search for him went citywide, and his photograph was on the cover of Newsweek in 1984.
Since her son's tragic disappearance shook the nation, Collins and her husband divorced, and she moved to the San Francisco suburb of Concord.
"It would be nice to have closure," she said of the reopened investigation.
"But then a part of me, you know, doesn't want to find him like that."