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Missing Woman: Annita Price - WV - 5/30/1974

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Name: Annita Price
Date of Birth:  03/20/1947
Date Missing:  05/30/1974
Age at time of disappearance:  27
City Missing From: Moundsville
State Missing From: West Virginia
Gender: Female
Race: Caucasian
Height:  6ft  
Weight:  155lbs
Hair Color:  Brown
Eye Color:  Brown
Complexion:  Dark

Identifying Characteristics: Annita has burn scars on her entire torso from the neck to upper thighs, and also on her left arm. These scars are severe and were from a childhood accident.

Clothing:  Yellow shorts, blue shirt

Circumstances of Disappearance: Last seen around 8pm heading to her job at the Flamingo Club in Benwood, WV. Driving an early 1970's green AMC Gremlin. The car was found abandoned on Rt. 2. in McMechan, WV. Her purse, makeup and wallet were still in the car. She never arrived at work.  

Investigative Agency: West Virginia State Police Cold Case Unit
Agency Phone:  (304) 329-1101

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A 27-Year-Old Mother Disappears Without A Trace

Posted Friday, May 29, 2009 ; 04:34 PM

Part One of A Special Report...... "Missing: Annita"

Story by D.K. Wright

Benwood, WV -- It was on this week, 35 years ago, that an Ohio Valley woman disappeared without a trace.

She was driving to work and then suddenly she was gone.

Her borrowed car was parked along the road, with no one inside.

Annita Maria Musto Price was 27.

They say she was attractive and enthusiastic.

"A boisterous personality," describes her daughter, Madonna Layne of Richmond, VA. "She had a big laugh. You'd hear her before you'd see her."

At six feet tall, she was statuesque and unusual.

"She had an exuberant personality," says Sgt. Dan Swiger, cold case investigator for the West Virginia State Police. "She was described by some as a fighter."

May 30, 1974, this spirited mother of two disappeared.

She was on her way to work at the Flamingo Club in Benwood.

Her borrowed green Gremlin was found with no one inside.

"The car was found parked along Route 2 northbound, north of Moundsville," said Madonna Layne.

Police say there was no evidence of a struggle, although some cosmetics--including lipstick and an eyeliner--were lying on the seat of the car.

Annita's disappearance was not reported to police for three days.

And the original West Virginia State Police file on the case is only a few pages.

Madonna Layne is critical of the original police work.

"They spent a total of 18 hours investigating her disappearance," she said. "Not even a full day."

Thirty-five years later, it's again in the hands of the West Virginia State Police, this time with their cold case investigator.

Sgt. Dan Swiger admits the file was scant, but says that's the way things were done then.

"In 1974 I think it was a different time," says Sgt. Swiger. "It's easy to Monday morning quarterback."

Madonna Layne was five years old when her mother disappeared.

Her brother was three.

She says her mother was involved in the fight of her life at the time, for the custody of her two children.

"Actually, she and my father were separated at the time," Layne says. "They'd been going through a pretty nasty custody battle and she was fighting tooth and nail to keep my brother and I."

Layne feels certain she knows what happened to her mother.

"She was shot in the head by an individual with a small caliber handgun in the Moundville area and she is buried near or underneath a power pole," Layne says.

This amazingly detailed concept is one she has held--very vocally--since childhood.

"And I got in a lot of trouble for speaking my mind," she recalls. "I just grew up saying this is what happened.

Was this just the fanciful idea of a child?

Everyone thought perhaps it was, until four years ago, when an anonymous informant came forward.

Layne says investigators talked to the informant and then told her that the informant's version of what happened matched hers, almost word for word.

So now this cold case has heated up.

The picture that Layne holds in her mind even includes a clear image of the killer.

So does she believe she knows who did it?

"Absolutely," she answers calmly. "I know who did it. I have no doubts."

Does the cold case investigator believe this case is solvable?

"With the right piece of the puzzle, I think it is," says Sgt. Swiger.

Anyone with memories or information about this case is urged to call WTRF's Crimefighter's Tipline at 1-800-223-0312.

Your tip will go straight to law enforcement and will be kept confidential.

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Updated Friday, May 29, 2009 ; 07:15 PM

Part Two Of A Special Report....."Missing: Annita"

Story by D.K. Wright

Benwood, WV -- A 27-year-old mother of two vanishes without a trace.

It happened 35 years ago in Benwood.

The Moundsville woman, estranged from her husband, was on her way to work but never got there.

People who knew Annita Maria Musto Price say she had a fiery personality.

They say she protected her children fiercely and would never have walked away from them.

Her children are still trying to find out why she vanished.

Annita disappeared May 30, 1974.

The cold case investigator believes she is dead.

"She's had no report of earnings, no jobs, no arrests, no activity at all since 1974," says Sgt. Dan Swiger of the WV State Police.

At the time she disappeared, her borrowed car reportedly wasn't processed by police.

In fact, it wasn't even seen by police.

They say the owner reportedly picked it up and left.

Her apartment on 4th Street in Moundsville was reportedly not even searched.

Her belongings were apparently removed quickly.

It was treated as the case of an adult who took off on her own.

But they say she was a social, fun-loving person.

"She enjoyed being around a lot of people," says her daugher, Madonna Layne of Richmond, VA. "She liked to have people around. She was very family-oriented, very family-devoted."

"I think especially since there was a battle for custody of these children I think she would have made some type of attempt to make contact with them," says Sgt. Swiger.

Annita's son, Leonard Price has contended for years, "There was definitely foul play involved. I'm 100 percent sure of that. Somebody out there knows the truth."

After her disappearance, Annita's husband raised the two children, who were five and three at the time.

Madonna, the elder of the two, says her father found the very subject of his wife intolerable.

"When my mom disappeared, my dad took my brother and I out to a Shoney's Big Boy Restaurant, got us a hot fudge cake, told us she was gone, she's never coming back, that's the end of it," Layne recalls. "We weren't allowed to talk about her, we weren't allowed to mention her, we weren't allowed to have pictures of her."

Layne says she tried to learn all she could about her mother.

"I was old enough that I remembered people," she said. "And behind his back, I sought them out in defiance a few times and paid the price for that. But when I turned 18, I found my mom's sister."

The family built a memorial to Annita on the mountain in West Virginia where they came from.

Learning about Annita is now not only Madonna Layne's personal quest, but also the quest of the WV State Police cold case investigator.

"A big piece of the puzzle is finding her remains," says Sgt. Swiger.

Layne believes her mother did not go away quietly, and she won't allow her to stay away quietly.

"I'm too much of my mother's daughter to be quiet about anything," Layne says. "No. She's going to find rest. She's going to find peace. My aunt says that she's calling out to us to find her."

A victim...calling out from beyond for justice.

Is it a notion too outrageous for a cold case investigator?

Perhaps not.

"I think you have to have a belief in a higher power," says Sgt. Swiger. "And that sometimes leads you in those directions. If that's the case, then so be it. Maybe it will lead us in the right direction."

If you have any information you call the an Lautamus Security at 304-233-0312.

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Case Still Cold

Benwood Woman Vanished in 1974

May 31 , 2009

BENWOOD- On May 30, 1974, Annita Marie Price left her Benwood home, headed for work. She never made it.

Her abandoned car found along W.Va. 2 between Wheeling and Moundsville yielded no clues as to what happened. The case went cold - but it never left the minds of family members, as 35 years later they continue to seek closure.

Madonna Layne is Price's daughter. She has spent much of her life trying to unravel the mystery of her mother's fate.

"It's been 35 years since my mother went missing," Layne said. "She has lost some siblings, but she still has grandchildren and a great-grandchild she has never seen. We just want to put her to rest properly and give our family some closure."

Layne, 40, of Richmond, Va., has one brother, Leonard Price Jr., 38, of Oak Hill, W.Va.

Price has four siblings still living, including a sister, Lola Cook of Elyria, Ohio, and three half-siblings - Mike Elkins and Judy Hall of Madison, W.Va., and Bobby Elkins of North Reidsville, Ohio.

Price "was only 27 years old when she disappeared," Layne said. "Our family is desperate for anyone to come forward with information about what may have happened to her."

Layne said her family has enlisted the help of Monica Caison, who has gained national attention as founder and director of the Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, N.C. The center is a non-profit organization designed to help families involved in dated missing persons cases.

"We just got this case in March," Caison said. "We plan to set up and start executing a goal plan. I think all cold cases deserve to get public awareness. We need to remind people that Annita Price is still missing and target the community for anyone who may not have been willing to talk years ago."

Sgt. Danny Swiger, a cold case investigator for the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, believes Price met with foul play.

"Right now-given the fact that she has had no contact with family members and there is no record of her existence-it is reasonable to believe she is most likely deceased," Swiger said. "We have found no evidence that she has had any type of earnings, Social Security benefits or credit records."

Swiger said he became aware of the case in April 2002 but nothing developed until nearly two years later when an anonymous tip gave a possible location where Price's remains may have been buried.

"We excavated in an area south of Moundsville," he said. "The tip indicated the body was buried under power lines running parallel to W.Va. 2 - but we found nothing."

Layne plans to revisit the excavation site to further her investigation.

"I understand there has been some construction at the dig site, and I don't know if we can get access," Layne said. "We want to see if they (investigators) missed something."

Swiger also intends to keep the investigation active.

He said "the missing puzzle piece would be to find her remains. It could reveal a cause of death and possible evidence that could link it to a perpetrator."

Born Annita Maria Musto on March 20, 1947 in New Jersey, Price moved to West Virginia at age four after her father died and her mother remarried.

She is described as a white female with brown hair and brown eyes and "well proportioned" at six feet tall and 155 pounds.

Price was last seen at 8:45 p.m. on May 30, 1974 wearing yellow shorts and a blue top as she departed from home en route to her job at the former Flamingo Club in Benwood. She never arrived at work.

Investigators found the green, early-1970s, AMC Gremlin she was driving the next morning along W.Va. 2.

Swiger said Price had severe burns to her left arm and torso from a childhood accident that may be apparent in her bone structure since the accident occurred when she was about 9 years old.

"Annita had been going through a messy divorce, and there was a custody battle for her two children," Swiger said. "DNA from the victim's children have been entered into the relatives section of the National Missing Persons Database, which is also associated with CODIS, a national database designed to search DNA profiles."

Swiger encourages anyone who may have information about Price's case to call 304-329-1101.

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Project Jason and Announce Alliance, a subsidiary of Williams Media Group, and Project Jason, a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization which assists families of missing persons, has announced an alliance. will promote Project Jason’s Awareness Angels Network program in their monthly online magazine.

Awareness Angels Network (AAN). AAN, begun by Project Jason in 2008, provides a way for the public to assist the families of missing persons. Missing persons posters designed specifically for the AAN program are disseminated via email to those enrolled in the program. Participants can then upload the posters to websites, print and place the posters in public areas, and forward them to their contacts. The program helps spread the word and increase the chances of finding the person.

Each month, will publish a full color ad in their popular online magazine which will feature 5 of Project Jason’s missing person cases from across the country. The ad has clickable links which take the reader to additional information about the missing person, and a link to their printable poster.  Readers are encouraged to sign up for the AAN program and help with poster distribution. “You can be a Hero” is the theme of the joint venture.

“We’re very grateful for this opportunity to have another avenue of awareness for our missing person cases,” said Kelly Jolkowski, President and Founder of Project Jason. “Each poster placed represents a chance to help bring a missing loved one back home.” Project Jason staff will select the cases for the monthly ad.

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Project Jason June 2009 Online Magazine Ad

In the June issue, the following missing persons were featured:

Bobbi Ann Campbell, missing from Salt Lake City, UT since 1/7/1995

Jason Jolkowski, missing from Omaha, NE since 6/13/2001

Adam Kellner, missing from Stevenson Ranch, CA since 7/08/2007

Becky Kraemer, missing from Milwaukee, WI since 12/15/2003

Annita Price, missing from Moundsville, WV since 5/28/1974

To see the June issue of the online magazine, please go to 

An introduction to Project Jason and AAN is on page 12 and the ad is on page 13.  (Use the arrows at the top center of the page to advance the pages, and use the zoom button to increase the page size.)

About Williams Media Group and

Williams Media Group began in March of 1999, and specializes in advertising for the truck driving recruitment industry., a subsidiary, offers the most comprehensive listings of truck jobs industry interests available. It features: up-to-date news; a trucker's blog for driver comments; links to other sites of industry interest; and notices of driving opportunities from across the country. The site gets thousands of visitors on a daily basis. 

About Project Jason

Project Jason, founded in 2003, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting the families of missing persons, and creating and increasing public awareness of missing people through a variety of outreach and educational activities. Project Jason brings hope and assistance to families of the missing by providing resources and support. The organization is based in Omaha, Nebraska.

For more information about Project Jason’s objectives, activities and services, go to

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Family, Police Won't Give Up on Mom Missing for 36 Years

By David Lohr

(Jan. 22) -- Annita Maria Price disappeared from Moundsville, W.Va., on a spring evening back in 1974. Thirty-six years later, her family clings to hope that she is alive and police keep trying to find clues.

"I was too young to do anything as a child and as an adult I keep running into brick walls," Price's daughter, Madonna Layne, said in an interview with "I have tried to get interest and information circulating in the media but most agencies are not interested because the case is so old. She just doesn't seem to be important enough to anyone but her immediate family."

Annita Maria Price, here in an undated photo, disappeared in May 1974.The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Price, aka Annita Maria Musto, began on the night of May 28, 1974, when the then-27-year-old reportedly dropped her boyfriend off at his place of work in Moundsville. From there, she was supposed to travel to her job at the Flamingo Club in Benwood, but for reasons unknown she never made it.

"The car she was driving was found parked along Route 2, in a small area between Wheeling and Moundsville," West Virginia State Police Sgt. Danny Swiger told "The only thing suggestive of a struggle is that her cosmetics were found spread out on the seat of her car."

A missing person report was not filed until two days after Price's disappearance. At the time, she was involved in a divorce and custody battle with her estranged husband. Police took a closer look at the couple's relationship but found no evidence suggesting it had any connection to her disappearance.

"In any situation that there is a possibility of a messy divorce the [spouse] would be a person of interest, but we've taken a look at that and investigated it quite a bit," Swiger said, adding that investigators have found no indication that Annita's husband "had anything to do with her disappearance."

According to Swiger, the investigation into Price's disappearance has been difficult because of the multitude of possibilities. Over the years, he has had to explore each one of them.

"Around that time frame, there was a lot of so called "criminal activity" happening at different bars and establishments in that area," he said. "So when you do victimology, she becomes a higher risk victim because of the circumstances and situations she put herself in. It opens up the suspect pool a little more when you have that type of victim."

Despite that fact that police have not found a body or evidence of a homicide, Swiger says he does not believe that Price is still alive.

"I would say that she is deceased just based on the fact that there's been no contact with her since 1974," Swiger said. "To spark this case forward we would need a tip to locate her body."

Police thought they had received that tip in February 2004, when they received information suggesting Price might have been buried at a location south of Moundsville.

"Multiple searchers were conducted but we never found her body there," Swiger said. "There's no direct concrete evidence where it was. A lot of it was speculation on our part."

Swiger has devoted countless hours to the case and has traveled to Florida and Ohio to speak with her relatives.

"We came up with no others things," he said. "What we did do is collect DNA samples from her children and entered them into the CODIS database -- a combined indexing system that the FBI has for relatives of missing persons -- so that if there is an unidentified (victim) that is found, they can crosscheck it with that database."

Todd Matthews, regional system administrator for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), has also been busy trying to find matches for Price in the database.

"The focus of my job is to enrich case files and seek bio data," Matthews told "With this data, we are able to process the 'matches' suggested by the system itself. The more detailed information we have, the faster that processes can occur. Not only is NamUs designed to enable a direct hit, we are also in a constant process of elimination."

Matthews said that each new case is automatically compared to an electronic catalog of unidentified victims. He has yet to find a match for Price, but he says that could change at any time due to the constant flow of new "unidentified" entries into the system.

"It's much better than the file sitting in a drawer gathering dust," Matthews said.

Meanwhile, Madonna Layne and her family continue to hold out hope that someday they will learn what happened.

"I miss her and I want answers," Layne said. "She has nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild that she never got to see. Someone knows something."

Price is described as white, 6 feet tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. She has distinctive scars on her left arm and torso from severe burns she suffered as a child. Price was reported to have been wearing yellow shorts and a blue top at the time of her disappearance. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Danny Swiger at 304-329-1101.

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Chesterfield Woman Raising Awareness About Unsolved and Missing Persons Cases

Madonna Layne Raising Awareness Following Her Own Mother's Disappearance

Shelby Brown Staff reporter August 18, 2010

CHESTERFIELD - Madonna Layne clings to one of the few pictures she has of her mother, Annita Price, as she tells us her story.

Price vanished 36 years ago on her way to work in Moundsville, West Virginia. She worked as a cocktail waitress and that night never made it to the Flaming Club. Layne says it was payday and her mom never even made it to pick up her paycheck.

"Her car was found a few days later on a road and the car was pointing in the opposite direction. Her keys were in the car and her purse and she was just gone" says Layne.

For years questions have lingered and haunted Layne and her brother. She was five when Price disappeared, her brother was three.

Now Layne's mission is to help other families in similar situations. She tells them about resources that can help keep their stories of loved ones lost out there, like a magazine that once highlighted her mom's story.

"She's been featured in Trucker's magazine. People don't know there's a group out there that'll put pictures of missing people on the side of their trucks as they drive cross country" says Layne.

Layne is hosting a rally Friday, August 20th in Chesterfield for the CUE Center for Missing Persons. It's a North Carolina based non-profit organization whose main goal is to generate new interest in cold cases of missing people across the country.

Friday's rally is open to all families who have lost a loved one. Layne prays one day those families will all find the peace they've been longing for.

To participate in the rally she says families can simply show up with posters and pictures of their missing loved ones. It'll be held at the Chick-fil-A on Hull Street Road in Midlothian from 1:30p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

A similar rally will be held in Charlottesville earlier that morning. Family members of slain Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington will gather on the bridge where they believe she was last seen. A rally and memorial ceremony will be held there. Then, the tour moves on to Chesterfield.

Layne says the CUE Center for Missing Persons has helped thousands of families. This week's rally is part of the organization's annual tour called "On The Road To Remember Tour".

Volunteers are participating in this campaign and are crossing the miles along the Eastern Seaboard raising awareness about missing persons cases that have gone cold or have not received appropriate media coverage on the local and national levels.

Organizers with the Cue Center for Missing Persons say interest in many of the cases they have featured in previous tours has been renewed. The media has learned about local cases they were unaware of; case investigations have been renewed and searches conducted.

Some unknown bodies have been identified and some of the missing people have been found, which is the main reason organizers of the national tour host the tour every year.

While this is the organization's 7th annual tour, Layne says this is the first one in our area. She hopes all families who have missing loved ones will show up, network and support each other.

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Still searching

When missing persons cases go cold, the real work begins


By Joan Tupponce



Started in 1994, The Community United Effort focuses on finding missing persons, advocating their causes and supporting their families. Since its inception, the nonprofit has helped more 9,000 families nationwide.


But that is just a small fraction of the missing person cases in the U.S. today, says Madonna Layne, who serves as Virginia state director for the national group, also known as CUE. She became involved with CUE in 2008 after participating in an annual road rally to help bring attention to the case of Annita Price, who has been missing since 1974. Price is Layne’s mother.


We recently caught up with Layne to ask about the group’s work in Virginia.


Chesterfield Observer: What type of services does CUE offer?


Madonna Layne: CUE offers a wide range of free services, such as search and recovery, victim support, investigation, canvassing, K-9, air and water search, including sonar and divers, horseback and many, many others. It is entirely donation funded and staffed by volunteers, none of whom take a salary.


CO: What’s the difference in emotions for the family of a missing person and other tragic events?


Layne: The difference between having a missing loved one and other tragic events is not knowing. With other tragedies you know the who, what, when, where and why. With a missing person you are left with nothing but unanswered questions. You spend your time wondering what happened to them. Where are they? Are they hungry? Are they hurt? Are they alive? There are just so many unknowns. It is hard to not lose hope. You grieve, but it is not the same way that you grieve over the death of a loved one.


CO: How many missing persons are there in the U.S. today?


Layne: In the U.S. there are approximately 2,300 people that go missing every day. According to the Virginia State Police website, Virginia has about 285 missing children and 41 missing adults. Of the children’s cases, 32 are in the metro Richmond area with four in Chesterfield County. There are three adults listed as missing in the Chesterfield/ Richmond area. Out of these cases, CUE currently works on seven missing persons cases, one unidentified person killed in a car accident that we are trying to find the identity of and one unsolved homicide [Morgan Harrington].


CO:. People hear about kidnappings, such as the Elizabeth Smart case, and wonder why victims don’t work harder to try and escape. What happens to kidnap victims when they are held captive for long periods that leads to psychological apathy?


Layne: I am not a psychologist but in my own personal opinion I think people such as Elizabeth Smart and the three young ladies recently located in Ohio are true heroes. In these situations they did whatever it took to survive their terrible ordeals. You never know what kinds of threats or torture these people endure. Many may feel that they will be rescued soon and do what they need to stay alive. When rescue doesn’t occur, they continue with their survival techniques. Also, you can’t know that people don’t try to escape or fight and get caught.


CO: Talk about the local cases. What happened to Bethany Decker?


Layne: Bethany Decker disappeared in February 2011. She was 21 years old at the time and five months pregnant with her second child. Bethany was attending George Mason University full time and working at a local Italian restaurant while her husband was stationed in Afghanistan. Her young son was being cared for by her parents while she was in school. At the time of Bethany’s disappearance, she also had a local boyfriend who may have been the last person to see Bethany. Upon not being able to reach Bethany by phone, her grandparents went to her apartment to check on her. Bethany’s car was there but no sign of Bethany. There has been no trace of Bethany or her unborn child and no arrests have been made in her disappearance. Her case has gone cold.


CO: What happens to families like Decker’s when a case goes cold?


Layne: It is very difficult when cases go cold and it happens quicker than you can imagine. Families really struggle. Law enforcement moves on to new cases and the media moves on to the next sensational story. Friends and some family resume their normal lives and expect the family of the missing person to do the same. Those left behind are left lost and confused and struggle with feelings of guilt when they do have to resume the normal day-to-day duties of life. You feel as if you are somehow disrespecting the person that is missing. You feel that no one cares and no one understands. This is another area that CUE has tried to assist families.


Every March in Wilmington [Del.] they host a conference for families of the missing to come together and learn from one another’s experiences and learn new techniques to find our missing person. The Road Tour is another way to help families. The purpose of the tour is to help families regenerate interest with law enforcement, the media and the public to help locate their loved one.

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Anita is still missing.


West Virginia State Police Cold Case Unit

  (304) 329-1101

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Daughter Searches for Answers to Her Mother's Disappearance 42 Years Ago

Posted: Mar 28, 2016 5:26 PM PST
Updated: Mar 28, 2016 5:26 PM PST

The daughter of a woman who went missing 42 years ago has started a GoFundMe account to help her find her mother's remains.

The investigation began after Annita Price disappeared on her way to work in Marshall County.

Her car was found, but she was never seen again.

Her daughter was five years old at the time, but she has followed the case closely.

Now, five different cadaver sniffing dogs have indicated a spot where she believes the body was buried.

The land now belongs to a business and Annita's daughter needs resources to be able to search for and dig up her remains.

Madonna Layne, the daughter of Annita Price, told 7News "we're trying to recover our mother's remains from the area where we believe she was buried. The costs are going to be digging equipment, the experts to run the equipment, and then to repair the area back to its natural status once we're finished there once the recovery is completed."

To find out more, log onto the GoFundMe website and search "Bring Annita Home."

They hope to be able to dig in August.

They are joined in their efforts by WVU's forensic science, archeology and anthropology students, as well as the Cold Case Research Institute out of Atlanta.

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42 Year Cold Case Heating Back Up

By Paige Madden
Posted: Aug 14, 2016 4:57 PM PST
Updated: Aug 15, 2016 2:26 AM PST

On May 30, 1974, Annita Price of Moundsville disappeared on her way to work. She was never found, and for 42 years, she has been listed as a missing person.

All these years later, her children are still trying to figure out what happened to their mom. With the help of the West Virginia State Police, they may soon have some answers in the cold case.

Madonna Layne was just five-years-old when her mother, Annita Price, was reported missing after she left for work, but never made it there.

A tip had come in in 2004 to the West Virginia State Police that lead the family to believe that foul play could have been involved.

42 years later, the family is back in Marshall County conducting a search where they believe Annita's body may be buried, near the Gypsum Plant.

"We've had dogs in the area, human remain dogs, run several times," Layne said. "Yesterday would have been I think the third or fourth time that we've had dogs run. Dogs keep alerting to something in this one particular area in front of the plant that we're looking at. We really feel like it's necessary to dig. Something is there."

In 1974, when Annita went missing, the Gypsum Plant didn't exist. The area where several human remain dogs have responded to is not covered by a road or building so it is possible to excavate.

The family and team of experts ran into some problems digging on Saturday, and they have to re-route a water source before the dig can continue. Layne and her brother said they are "cautiously optimistic" that the search will give them some of the answers they need.

Several groups of experts and workers are in town for the dig, but it is hard to tell when work will resume due to the water source relocation.

"We just want to find our mom. It's been 42 years, and we want to be able to put her to rest properly, and we just want answers," Layne said.

She said if the dig does not result in the discovery of her mother's remains, investigators will at least know they can turn their attention elsewhere, and help the family find some closure four decades past due.

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