There is a mystery in Jefferson County, where sheriff’s deputies and federal investigators have been digging in an area around the northbound offramp from Highway 21 at Schenk Road for more than two weeks. Wednesday they actually dug up part of the ramp, closing the exit while they did it. But no one will say what they’re looking for.
Neighbors say three addresses adjacent to the ramp received federal search warrants to facilitate the digging, but one of those neighbors, who asked not to be identified, says the first in the strange series of events happened earlier.
“Jefferson County brought a guy out here in orange, handcuffed, shackled and all this, and that kid was pointing out spots,” the woman told us.
Those spots are where the digging was soon underway. The activity peaked Wednesday when the exit was closed off.
“They had the ramp closed. They had bulldozers. Tractors. They had people standing out there digging in the dirt. It was just a lot of ‘em. And they still was not saying nothing,” the neighbor said of the scene. “Very unsettling knowing I live here and the elderly lady lives up in front of us. Very unsettling.”
The activity has prompted a flood of social media activity speculating the search might be related to the August, 2005 disappearance of Amanda Jones. The Jefferson County woman was nine months pregnant when she went missing.
But Thursday night, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer told FOX2 by phone that the search, “absolutely is not related to Amanda Jones.”
He directed any other questions to federal investigators who are saying very little.
“There is an on-going federal investigation into potential violations of federal law being handled by this office,” a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office read Thursday afternoon. “The activity which occurred at the area of Highway 21 and Schenk Road in Jefferson County was related to that investigation and occurred with the invaluable support and cooperation of the Missouri Department of Transportation. But because this is an active, on-going investigation, we have no other comment.”
Residents in the area, meanwhile, continue to wait, wonder, and worry.
“Honestly, the way they’re working and prying, I think they’re looking for bodies or looking for something.,” the woman It would be nice if they would knock on the door and tell us what they’re doing or what they’re looking for. I mean that is a little scary to think you’re right out in the back yard and they won’t tell you what they’re looking for. “