One day in 1975, Katherine and Sheila Lyon vanished after going to a Kensington shopping mall. The girls were 10 and 12 years old, respectively. Authorities announced two persons of interest in the case just last year. Now, they’re looking to dig into a Virginia mountain in hopes of finding the girls’ remains.

At a press conference with the FBI and Virginia State Police, Montgomery County Police announced that authorities are performing a “forensic dig” in a section of Taylor’s Mountain in Bedford County, Virginia.

Delaware inmate Lloyd Lee Welch, Jr., and his uncle, Richard Allen Welch Sr., are the two persons of interest in the case. According to CBS News, witnesses said Welch Jr. was at the mall, and was said to be paying close attention to the girls. He was convicted of an unrelated sex crime in 1998. Welch Sr. is believed to have moved to the mountain property, which has been searched periodically in recent months.

Officials wouldn’t say what led them to start the dig, but said they believed it could be human remains.

The investigative work of this task force, regardless of the outcome of today’s efforts, will be as tenacious as humanly possible with the target of locating these children and providing the parents closure,” Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown said.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.