Authorities in three Utah counties where serial killer Ted Bundy said he buried three of his victims have not given up hope of finding the bodies, although some are frustrated.
"We've dug up all kinds of animal bones, but we haven't found anything human," said acting Carbon County sheriff Jim Robertson.Carbon County and Brigham Young University law enforcement officers have coordinated several searches for the body of Sue Curtis, 15, whom Bundy said he buried in an area 10 miles south of Price. Curtis disappeared from a BYU youth conference June 27, 1975.
The last search was conducted last week and others have even been conducted in nearby Emery County, but Robertson said he is frustrated because the efforts have yielded few clues. He also questions the credibility of Bundy's last-minute burial confessions.
"It just seems to me his history is the kind that he left a lot of people dangling - even as he went to the chair," said Robertson, adding that Bundy may have been "getting the last laugh in his mind."
Wayne County Sheriff Kerry Ekker said he, too, feels frustrated and said his department's efforts to find the body of Nancy Wilcox, 17, are reaching the end of the rope. After several failed searches, he is relying on two psychics to lead him to the grave site.
"It's a long shot, but really, that's all we've got left," he said. "I'm not prepared to rule them out because once in a while they have success stories."
Although he admits he doesn't know whether the information the psychics have given is true or not, both have given him similar stories and details. "We're going to do another ground search probably next week." This time, searchers will look inside Capitol Reef National Park.
In Sanpete County, officials are a little more optimistic. Sheriff Wallace Buchanan said although snow in the area has prevented searches up until now, preparations have been made and officials are ready to conduct operations to find the body of Debi Kent, 17, Bountiful.
Buchanan said a camera connected to a remote-control model airplane was recently sent into the area where Bundy said he buried her body. "A geologist flew and took pictures to tell us if there's a grave in that area and we think there is," he said. "We should be ready to go in a couple of weeks."
The sheriff said that after Bundy described the grave site, he followed the instructions and rode a snowmobile into the general area.
"I pretty much knew right where he was talking about," Buchanan said, adding that Bundy's instructions are "pretty accurate depending on if he told us the truth."
That place, he said, is close to the area where photographs indicate a gravesite may be located. "We're hopeful from what he described."
Buchanan said his office has also received many calls about "Bundy trees" - trees carved with Bundy's name or initials. Although he doesn't know how many were carved by hikers as a joke, he said he will eventually check each tree site (spread throughout the search area between Fairview and Mayfield) for possible clues.
He is hoping to bring in search dogs to help, but said neither Sanpete County nor the Bountiful police department (who is helping coordinate the efforts) have the funds to bring them in. He's hoping for state funds or private donations.
"We've got to do everything we can for that family."
Wilcox disappeared from her Holladay neighborhood on Oct. 2, 1974, and Kent disappeared from Viewmont High School on Nov. 8, 1974.