ROSEBURG, Ore. (CBS/KVAL) The parents of Stephanie Condon, the 14-year-old Oregon girl who went missing over ten years ago, have waited a long time for the trial of her accused murderer. Now the first of many proceedings - a change in venue hearing - has begun.
Attorneys for Dale Wayne Hill, who police believe to be the last person to see Stephanie alive, have asked for his murder trial to be moved of out Douglas County where the young girl's disappearance and death was highly publicized.
Hill's attorneys are concerned that their client will not get a fair trial if the venue is not changed.
At Monday's session, a Josephine County judge listened as several current and former law enforcement officers testified about evidence surrounding Hill before and after Condon's disappearance, reports CBS affiliate KPIC.
The change of venue hearing is expected to conclude at the end of the week.
Condon, an honor student from Riddle, Oregon, vanished Oct. 30, 1998 while she was babysitting for her cousin's twin toddlers in Myrtle Creek; however, her disappearance baffled investigators who suspected Hill, but could not find any concrete proof of his guilt.
Over the next ten years, Stephanie's family as well as the community pitched in by posting flyers and billboards, as well as hosting vigils, in hopes of finding the missing girl, reports KPIC.
On March 13, 2009, a hiker came across skeletal remains near an abandoned logging road. Police confirmed that the remains were those of Stephanie Condon, and Hill was taken into custody in Nevada the same day.
"It is a case that has been investigated by state, federal and international agencies for 10 1/2 years," Mark Sabit, one of two attorneys representing Hill, said at a previous court hearing.
Hill, 40, has pleaded not guilty to Condon's murder and kidnapping and has been held without bail at the county jail where he awaits a trial tentatively starting in February.