FOX23 learned new details about the massive effort to bring closure to a cold case in Rogers County.
Deputies began searching property near 88 and 520 in Tiawah for Dione Fox on Monday. Fox disappeared 18 years ago.
Investigators believe Fox is buried somewhere in the area because it was the last place she was seen alive.
“It’s scary to think that that might be there,” said Jennifer Sams, who lives up the street from where deputies are searching.
“Hopefully we can get it solved. We’ve made a lot of progress and gone further than any investigator has,” said Rogers County Sheriff’s Office investigator Kyle Baker.
The case reopened this month after years of being dormant. The sheriff said it was an accumulation of small tips over time that led them to believe Fox is buried on the 20-acre property in Tiawah.
Fox was last seen there after dropping off her daughter, the property belongs to Fox’s ex-in laws. Investigators have been here before.
“It’s been looked at and revisited a few times in the past but this is probably the most resources we’ve been able to put at it,” said Roger’s County Sheriff Scott Walton.
Away from the site deputies were interviewing people about the case, some for the second or third time. Investigators also tried to talk to Fox’s ex-husband, the last person they believe saw Fox alive.
“Anyone who was last seen or last known Dione to be alive could be a suspect. We’ve reached out to him to come speak to us, he’s denied speaking to us before talking to his attorney and that is his right,” said Baker.
The Sheriff’s Office said Fox was reported missing in 1996 after she failed to appear at a protective order hearing she tried to file against husband.
There are no official suspects or persons of interest in this case.
Tuesday’s excessive heat impacted the search.
There are people and animals out to take care of as deputies continue their search. It’s very hot but deputies said they need to get this search warrant executed.
“Oh it’s terrible out here. The sun is just beating down on us,” said Rogers County Sheriff’s PIO Jerry Smittle.
The Roger’s County Sheriff’s Office told FOX23 the men and women who are searching are being rotated out so they can cool down and drink more water.
Wagoner County Emergency Management and Claremore police donated trailers for the day so people could have an air conditioned place to sit in.
The American Red Cross passed out food and drinks to investigators. But the heat proved to be too much for the cadaver dogs who went home early. They sniffed out five locations on Monday and two on Tuesday, but as the temperature rose it became harder for them to smell.
“They would go in for a little bit and the dogs started getting heat exhaustion. They would bring them out and we would have pools of water for them trying to keep the dogs cool,” said Smittle.
This site will be guarded throughout the night so no one tries to tamper with evidence.