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Remains of Shannon Siders reburied after weeks of forensic testing

5:14 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
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  • Shannon Siders shortly before her murder.
  • Shannon Siders' remains were re-buried at the city cemetery in Newaygo, Oct. 15, 2012.
    

NEWAYGO, Mich. (WZZM) -- A West Michigan father is burying his daughter for the second time -- and still wondering who killed her more than 20 years ago.

Shannon Siders' remains were re-buried Monday at the city cemetery in Newaygo. The re-interment comes after weeks of scientific testing as investigators try to solve her murder.

Previous Coverage: Shannon Siders' body exhumed Thursday

Siders vanished in July 1989, when she was 18 years old. Her badly decomposed body was found in the Manistee national forest on October 15, 1989 -- 23 years to the day of her re-burial.

On Monday, Siders' family and friends gathered under the old oak tree standing by her grave site. They were there to say goodbye -- again. For this ceremony, spiritual leaders from the Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians were on hand to return the spirit of a tribe member to mother Earth.

Siders' family allowed investigators to exhume her body in July, hoping advances in DNA and forensic sciences would help find evidence useful to investigators.

"I hope this is the beginning of the end," says Bob Siders, Shannon's father. He says detectives told him the exhumation was helpful. "Without any details, I have been told that it was absolutely worthwhile."

Bob Siders clearly remembers the day in 1989 when his daughter's body was discovered. It was the day when Shannon's case went from a missing persons investigation to a homicide.

A Michigan State Police task force was assembled last year to solve the cold case. The Siders family and their supporters are hopeful that the team will find her killer, but Bob Siders says as more days and years pass their hopes for justice are fading.

"If we do not get an arrest off this investigation, I do not see it ever happening," he says. "It is not going to be another 23 years down the road with another cold case team. That isn't going to happen. It is either going to be now or never."

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