By David Bailey
(Reuters) - Wisconsin investigators hoping to solve the 1947 disappearance of an 8-year-old girl halted their excavation of a Janesville vacant lot on Friday after five days of digging turned up no human remains, police said.
Investigators received a tip on July 30 that Georgia Jean Weckler might be buried there and trained dogs indicated that human remains could be present, Jefferson County Sheriff's Captain Jerry Haferman said. It was the first tip in the case since 1999.
Janesville police, Rock County sheriff's detectives and the Jefferson County sheriff's office started digging on Monday. A house is soon to be built on the lot, but at the time Weckler went missing the area was rural and partially wooded with gravel roads. Janesville is in Rock County, near where the Wecklers lived in Jefferson County.
"We didn't find anything and we are done digging," Haferman said.
Rock County Sheriff's Captain Todd Christiansen said about 30 people started the dig and half that number worked on Friday to wrap it up. Searchers mapped out 24 grids measuring roughly 10 feet by 10 feet, and used hand tools to remove earth and sift it for human remains, Christiansen said.
Investigators, who have not identified the person who gave them the tip, plan to meet with the tipster again next week, Christiansen said.
Weckler was last seen on May 1, 1947, when a friend's mother dropped her at the entrance to her family's farm about a half mile from her house, Haferman said.
He said one of her friends recalled Weckler saying she was going to pick flowers and remembered seeing her take mail from the family's mailbox.
Thousands of people searched for Weckler after she disappeared and several reported seeing a dark-colored 1936 Ford sedan in the area, Haferman said.
Investigators have checked several tips and some confessions over the years, but none were confirmed, he said.
(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Toni Reinhold)