Olive Kavanaugh watches as New York State Police investigators dig for clues into the disappearance of her neighbor Dale Jarvis, 48.
"A dead end street, not much excitement and we don't have much travel. It's been interesting," Kavanaugh said.
Early Thursday afternoon, police got a big break in the case. They found human remains buried several feet deep behind Jarvis' home on White Street in Chateaugay, where police started digging Wednesday.
"The method the body was placed behind the house has led us to determine that we will conduct this investigation as a homicide investigation," N.Y. State Police Maj. Richard Smith said.
Police said that section of the three-acre property was the primary focus of their investigation.
"We did get information relative from witness depositions, relative to a particular area of the house or yard I would say that had been disturbed earlier this year, and that's why we looked their first," Smith said.
Investigators say they will need to await an autopsy to determine how the handyman was killed.
"Until the body is forensically removed and examined, we will not be able to determine the cause or manner of death. It's not readily apparent," Smith said.
According to his family, Dale Jarvis was last seen Feb. 20 by his son D.J., who also lived at the home. D.J. told family members his dad had left with someone in the middle of night to head south. Family members also revealed D.J. used a backhoe to dig a hole behind the home in the same area where police are now digging, and buried his father's bed there shortly after he disappeared. D.J. was also reportedly busy renovating the home inside.
"At this time we cannot rule anybody in or out," Smith said.
Neighbors hope police will identify who killed Jarvis soon.
"I certainly hope so," Kavanaugh said, "for the family."
Police say they plan to keep searching the property until Saturday, looking for more clues in Dale Jarvis' murder.
His son, D.J., is being held at the Franklin County jail on charges stemming from a domestic violence incident earlier this week.
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