Missouri sheriff’s deputies accompanied by cadaver dogs and armed with a backhoe on Thursday descended on a patch of land in Jefferson County and began digging for clues in the 2005 disappearance of Amanda Jones.
Jones, 26, was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with her second child when she disappeared after meeting with the alleged father of her unborn baby, Bryan Westfall, at the Hillsboro Civic Center on August 14, 2005.
According to the FBI, during the meeting with Westfall, Jones answered a call on her cell phone at 1.15pm. That was the last time anyone saw or heard from her.
Amanda Jones (pictured left and right with her daughter) was 26 years old and eight-and-a-half months pregnant (right) with her second child when she went missing on August 14, 2005
Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies armed with a backhoe searched the grounds of the Hillsboro Civic Center on June 20
Jones was last seen at the Civic Center on August 14, when she when to meet the alleged father of her unborn son, Bryan Westfall
Cadaver dogs indicated the possibility of human remains, but no evidence was found
Later that night, Jones’ blue 1997 Pontiac Sunfire was found unlocked and abandoned in the Civic Center parking lot. Her hot-pink purse, car keys, wallet, and cell phone have not been found.
Westfall was never charged in Jones’ disappearance.
Jones’ mother, Bertha Propst, has never given up hope finding her daughter and bringing her home.
Last month, Propst and volunteers with cadaver dogs from the CUE Center for Missing Persons scoured the Civic Center property in search of evidence, reported Fox 2 Now. A Jefferson County detective was on hand to collect any evidence uncovered during the dig.
The county sheriff’s office later announced that nothing was found. However, on Thursday, officials revealed that dogs alerted their handlers to several locations during the search in May where human remains might have been buried.
Last week, sheriff’s deputies conducted another search by hand, and on Thursday, they brought in a backhoe to the site to pull back layers of soil.
Crime scene experts and an anthropologist were present to supervise the excavation, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the location of Jones and her unborn son, whom she planned to name Hayden Lucas
During the dig, cadaver dogs were brought in again to search the area. They continued to indicate the possibility of human remains, but in the end, no evidence was found.
‘This excavation is over for now, but this is still an ongoing investigation,’ the statement said. ‘We will not quit until Amanda Jones is found.’
Propst, Jones’ mother, questioned the sheriff’s office’s decision to wait a month to return to the Civic Center to conduct its own dig, instead of doing it immediately after the search dogs indicated the possible presence of human remains in May.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the location of Jones and her unborn son, whom she planned to name Hayden Lucas.
Her daughter, Hannah, was just four years old when her mother vanished without a trace, after promising her that she would be back in a couple of hours.
Last month, Hannah Jones graduated from high school with multiple academic scholarships. She plans to attend college next year and study nursing.
Jones’ missing person case was featured on NBC’s Dateline in August 2018.
In the episode, the missing woman’s mother said that Amanda and Bryan Westfall had met at a holiday party and had a brief tryst. Six months before her disappearance, she called Westfall to tell him she was pregnant.
‘He never seemed to have any interest in having a relationship with the baby,’ Bertha Propst told the program.
Then on August 15, 2005, Westfall called Jones to discuss custody of the unborn baby. She agreed to meet with him at the Civic Center after church and have lunch.
But when Westfall was interviewed by investigators later, he claimed that Jones became upset with him and left after he told her he was not the biological father of her baby.
Jones’ daughter, Hannah (left and right), was just four years old when her mother vanished. She lost her father two years later and was raised by her maternal grandparents
She went to the bathroom, then returned and told Westfall she did not want to go to lunch with him, he was said to have told the cops.
Westfall said he then left the Civic Center, while Jones stayed behind.
But according to Propst, when she first spoke to Westfall, he offered her a different version of events, claiming that he and Jones did go to lunch and parted ways at 2pm.
However, he allegedly called Propst again a few hours later and changed his story, telling her that her daughter got upset over lunch, and that he took off from the restaurant while she was in the bathroom.
A detective told Dateline that when police went to search Propst’s home, he limited the places where officers were allowed to look.
He has denied having anything to do with Jones’ disappearance. Westfall has not spoken to law enforcement since 2005.
Police also questioned Jones’ ex-husband, Scott Jones, and cleared him as a suspect. Scott passed away in 2007, leaving his and Amanda’s orphaned daughter to be raised by her maternal grandparents.
Amanda Jones is described as being 5-foot-8 and weighing 215-225lbs at the time of her disappearance. She has brown hair with blonde highlights and blue eyes.
She was last seen wearing a pink sleeveless top, a pink and white flowered skirt and pink sandals. If you have information related to Amanda’s disappearance, contact Detective Sergeant Scott Poe at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Cffice at (636) 797-5527 or the FBI.