For the family of a 23-year-old woman who was killed in 1996, the pain has never stopped.
Shaquita Bell was killed and went missing well over a decade ago. The man who admitted to killing her, her ex-boyfriend named Michael Dickerson, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court in 2008. He told authorities that he shot and killed her in the District on June 27, 2008 and then buried her body in a rural area of Prince George's County, according to the Washington Post.
He remains have never been recovered.
Her family is now trying to find her remains. Thomas Wilborne, his son and a friend spent hours digging Friday morning in the woods where the killer said he buried Bell's body 15 years ago.
"I'm just feeling that from the depth they said they buried her we ought to be able to find something," said Wilborne.
Bell was a young mother of three when her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend Dickerson killed her. Nearly a decade later, Dickerson took police to a patch of woods along Old Fort Road as part of a plea deal. Police and Bell's family have been searching there ever since.
"My hope is that we find her," said Jackie Wilborne, Bell's stepbrother. "I know she's not coming home but its still a missing piece."
Bell's mother Jackie say this year's search was prompted by a tough mother's day for Bell's three children. They're grateful to the Metropolitan Police, who sent officers with a cadaver dog.
"I need the peace in my mind and heart, otherwise its just not complete," Jackie Wilborne said.