CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. — When police combed through a mile-long stretch of rough terrain in Lincoln County Monday night, they found human remains assumed to belong to missing West County woman Jennifer Rothwell.
Wednesday, test results confirmed their suspicions.
Watching Rothwell's case at home — like they have so many others over the past 14 years — is the family of Amanda Jones.
"The first thing I thought of when I saw this incident was I told my husband, 'I hope and pray that they find her, and they don't have to go through what we went through,'" Jones' mother, Bertha Propst, said.
Propst unpacks a stack of 4x6 photographs, laying out the life of a daughter who disappeared in 2005.
Jones was almost nine months pregnant when she disappeared in 2005.
Her family has long suspected the child's father — the last person to see her — was responsible. But to this day there are no arrests, nor any remains.
"It's all we've done for 14 years is wait, and get no results," Propst said.
They've organized their own search parties other the years, one as recently as May. But each has turned up empty.
Propst says they know first-hand the "torment" of living with a missing person case.
"Torment. Torment through the years because you hear a lot of these different cases," she said. "It's the unknown that's worse than death."
Now she prays that finding a body will bring one family closure, and she hopes for the same in her case too.
"My heart goes out to them, and I pray that they get their closure, that they find out what happened to their loved one," Propst said. "Even if finding them gone.... at least they know what happened, and they can put that person to rest, and they can start healing."
The Missouri State Highway Patrol website lists 612 open missing person cases, including Jones.
The Propst said they forwarded a tip to police as recently as last week.