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Authorities Believe 7-Year-Old Missing Since 1961 Died At The Hands Of Child Serial Killer

SANTA BARBARA (CBS) — A cold case is breathing new life in Santa Barbara County after authorities were tipped off to the possible location of a missing schoolgirl's remains.

Cadaver dogs searched Wednesday for the remains of a girl who went missing 50 years ago.

Ramona Price, 7, disappeared on September 2, 1961. She was last seen walking from her Santa Barbara home. Authorities believe convicted serial killer Mack Ray Edwards kidnapped and murdered the girl.

Edwards was convicted in 1971 of killing three other children. While on death row at San Quentin, Edwards reportedly bragged to fellow inmates that he killed as many as 18 children before he hanged himself.

"One of the comments that he made was that they're never find them because no one is ever gonna tear up freeways," Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez said.

New evidence led police to the Winchester overpass on the Ventura (101) Freeway, just north of Santa Barbara, which Caltrans is preparing to demolish. Authorities said Edwards was employed by the company that built the bridge.

"The big information that we have now is his connection to the building of this bridge back in '61. This bridge opened up just a few weeks after Ramona went missing," Det. Jaycee Hunter said.

Police used cadaver dogs, which are trained to pick up a scent even if it's 50 years old, to search for Price's remains. Santa Barbara police said the dogs indicated areas of interest. The department will coordinate with Caltrans to dig before the bridge is demolished later this year.

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