The FBI, Illinois State Police and crime scene investigators returned Friday to a home in Joliet in a renewed search for a woman who went missing almost three decades ago.
New leads in the case of Robin Abrams, a former Will County Sheriff’s officer reported missing on Oct. 4, 1990, led authorities this week to the home where her family said a cadaver dog caught a scent.
"I'm nervous but I'm not giving up hope," Abrams' sister, Jody Abrams Walsh, said. "I'm really proud of the FBI and the Illinois State Police that are finally getting in and getting to do a real job on the house."
Crews began digging again at 9 a.m. Friday under a portion of concrete slab floor in the home's basement in the 100 block of South Margaret Street.
Abrams was 28 years old when she was last seen driving her red 1989 Dodge Daytona hatchback near Goodenow Road in suburban Beecher, where she is from. Her car was later recovered in Harvey, but she was never found. [[414655693, C]]
Before Abrams disappeared, she had been dating a married man who worked in law enforcement, her family said, and had filed a civil rights lawsuit accusing him of getting her fired.
Abrams sister said the man's stepbrother did construction at the home, though her family said a previous search of the home came up negative.
"They are taking all the cement out and they are going over it with new, modern techniques," Abrams Walsh said, "going to go through it with new, modern forensics and technology that, hopefully, we can find some remains."
The residents who currently live in the home are not involved in the case, according to police, who said the new lead did not come from them.
"This is a quiet neighborhood," said Jazmin Sanchez, who lives nearby. "None of that stuff happens here, never."
The family who lives in the home are being fully cooperative, police said, and have been relocated as the search takes place.
"The house was there when we moved in, but it had just been built," said Sue Sullivan, who moved to the area in late 1990.
"That's amazing, it's absolutely amazing," Sanchez added of the search, thinking of Abrams' family. "It's good for them to get closure."
Authorities have been at the house on and off since Monday, police said, and had no estimate as to how long the dig may take.