Search Resumes For Body Of Woman Missing For 10 Years

Authorities To Continue Kentucky Search

The mystery behind the killing of Karen Jo Smith, who disappeared in December 2000, might soon be solved, authorities said.

Though her ex-husband, Steven Halcomb, was convicted in 2005 of abducting Smith from her home on Indianapolis' south side and killing her, Smith's body was never found, leaving the missing persons portion of the case unsolved.

Indianapolis Metro Police believe they're closing in on the location where her remains might be. Investigators suspect Smith's remains are in Allen County, Ky., just east of Bowling Green.

The lead detective working the case after returned from Kentucky on Sunday, where the search was expected to continue this week, 6News' Rick Hightower reported.

"It's a big break and something we haven't had in a long time," said Detective Chester Price.

Price said Kentucky authorities are concentrating on a one-acre area where it's believed Smith's remains might be among some debris that was cleared for housing.

"There's been a lot of wild goose chases, and this is the first time we've had something concrete that we can go on. This is the first time we believe this is exactly where the remains are," Price said.

After the couple's 18-year-old daughter, Stephanie, died in an accident recently, it's believed Halcomb was told by the family they wanted to bury her next to her mother. That's when he spoke up, telling police where he put the body.

"He has owned up to the fact that he murdered Karen and disposed of her. My sister said it's her goal to bring her home and bury her with her daughter," said Jack Lee, Smith's uncle.

Excavation equipment was brought to the site Sunday. Authorities said that any new evidence could finally bring closure and a funeral for a family in mourning for more than a decade.

"They're going to do a major excavation of the property on Monday. That's the information they gave me, and they're going to bring back some more dogs and so forth. This is our first real shot at finding something," Price said.

The family and investigators believe they're working with the best information they've ever had in the case.

"All we can do is wait and see what the results are of the search," Lee said.