A 67-year-old Wilmington missing persons case is closed for the family, but no remains were found

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The SBI returned to a home in Carolina Beach where family members believe a woman and her daughter were buried under concrete 67 years ago.

41-year-old Leila Bryan and her 4-year-old daughter Mary Rachel vanished in 1941, and family members have always thought Bryan's husband, E.C. Bryan, buried the bodies in the house.

In November of 2008, state investigators used high tech equipment to look beneath the concrete.

Teams dug up the foundation under a bedroom and just inside the front door of a home in Carolina Beach Tuesday, January 6, but didn't find anything.

Investigators focused on an area near the front door.  They tore up the concrete, shoveled dirt from underneath and searched for teeth or body parts, but came up empty handed.

They had the same results when they dug up another spot in the living room.

"This was the best shot," said Leila Bryan's nephew Lewis Smith.  "The indication was she was there, but it's evident she's not.  This is kind of the last hoo-rah, so it's closed as far as I'm concerned."

E.C. Bryan died many years ago.  Family members say there is a possibility the bodies may have been dumped in the Snows Cut River.

Smith plans to reimburse the homeowner for the floors that were damaged in the investigation.