The family of a missing person takes the search for human remains into their own hands. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department completed a search for the remains of 21-year-old Ben Wilderbing on Friday.More >>
by Elizabeth Fay
TOWN OF WILSON (WAOW) -- The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department searches for the human remains of Ben Wilberding after his family uncovers bone fragments. Police called off the search late last week near County Road C-C in the Town of Wilson.
"Given that the property is 40 acres large, at some point you have to make a determination that you've conducted a diligent effort, and we believe we did," says Sheriff Jeff Jaeger.
Determined to find answers in her brother's case, Candie Wetenkamp and her family took the search into their own hands.
At 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, police say they dug up bones.
"Those particular items were located about 6 inches from where we stopped digging."
Wilberding's sister tells Newsline that her brother grew up on this property. She says she's hopeful the search will prove it's also where he was buried.
"We responded to the scene took custody of those pieces, photograph it and sent those photographs to an anthropologist.
Experts in Madison will determine if the pieces are human or animal remains.
If they're human, they'll test DNA to see if they're connected to Wilberding, the man who disappeared back in 1996.
"Really what we want to have happen here is closure for the family. By them finding this, it certainly opens up the opportunity for that to happen."
Police says they found a few more pieces of bone on Thursday. Those will also be sent to Madison for examination.
Newsline Nine will share the results when they become available.
Online Reporter: Elizabeth Fay
PRESS RELEASE -- Based on new information received Wednesday night, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office has returned to the Wilberding property on County Rd CC in the Town of Wilson.
This is part of the ongoing investigation of Ben Wilberding's disappearance. The 21 year old has been missing since 1996.
That is all the information the sheriff's department will release at this time. Newsline 9 will update this story as more information becomes available.