The last time anyone saw 7-year-old Jennifer Martilez alive was Nov. 15, 1982.
The young girl from Tampa vanished while walking home from school. But on Thursday, authorities got a possible break in the nearly 30-year-old mystery.
"A female came forward with information regarding the missing child, 7-year-old from 1982," authorities said.
According to an affidavit, a woman named Anna Cummings told police when she was 10 years old she lived in North Union Township near Uniontown, Pa.
One of her neighbors, Steve Visnosky, said he had a second home in Tampa just blocks from where Jennifer went missing.
What's more: She said around that same time she remembers seeing him dig a large hole and bury garbage bags, possibly containing Jennifer's remains.
Cummings also said she saw a picture of Jennifer and a newspaper article about her in Visnosky's house. Those tips led state police investigators to a wooded area in Fayette County, Pa., on Thursday.
"It's a unique situation that's just been developing over the last several weeks, and we're trying to catch up when you have 30 years time that's essentially passed, so things not all the puzzles and pieces are in place at this point, but we are working on putting it together," a police spokesman said.
Some members of the Martilez family learned of the search today, bringing them a new hope for closure after all these years. They declined an interview, however, opting to wait for the outcome of the investigation.
A couple years ago we did speak to Jennifer's mother, Kathy Longo, who carries a suitcase with her everywhere containing items related to her daughter's disappearance.
"If someone came to me and said you could see your daughter but you would die to see your daughter, I would take my life to be able just to see my daughter for one minute," she said back in 2009.
Tampa Police are remaining tight lipped about the investigation, only saying they're working with police in Pennsylvania.
As for Visnosky, he died in 1992.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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