South Australian police told media that no human bones or items relating to the Beaumont children were found during an extensive all-day dig at an Adelaide factory site.
Rubbish and bones from a number of animals were found, including horses, cows and sheep - indicating a site of disturbed soil identified by ground penetrating radar was in fact an old refuse site. The search has now been called off.
Jane Beaumont, nine, and her siblings, Arnna, seven, and Grant, four, disappeared during a trip to Adelaide’s Glenelg beach on Australia Day 1966.
The trio caught a bus together at 10am – with the seafront just five minutes away. But the kids never came home.
Following shock findings from a major new Seven News investigation, a possible gravesite was located at a factory in Plympton.
The site was identified by two men, who revealed a former owner of the factory had asked them to dig a trench there days after the children went missing.
That man was Harry Phipps – a wealthy businessman who died in 2004.
Speaking to media at around 1pm on Friday, Chief Insp. Greg Hutchins of South Australia Police said the search was ‘slow and methodical’.
‘Currently we have excavated to a depth of one metre. What we know, using specialist equipment, is that the anomaly is 80cm from where we are now.’
Insp Hutchins was confident that the dig would reach the level of the possible grave by Friday afternoon.
‘We’re now on sandy soil which is easy to dig,’ he said. ‘I expect to get to the top of the anomaly quite quickly.
‘It’s very sandy and it’s very easy for them to identify any strange objects like rubbish or clothing,’ he continued.
‘This is a significant event in South Australia and we would love to solve it.’
A version of this article originally appeared on New Idea