Did an Ontario construction worker kill a 13-year-old girl and cover up his crime for more than half a century until revealing it in a deathbed confession?

That’s the story relatives of Noreen Greenley say gives them hope they will finally find closure.

It’s also the story police believed enough that investigators brought in an excavator Thursday morning to dig up part of a property where Greenley’s remains may have been buried. Police, however, have yet to find any evidence.

Greenley was last seen Sept. 14, 1963, in Bowmanville, Ont., northeast of Toronto. She disappeared while waiting for a bus after going bowling.

Her case has never been solved. Relatives say they felt a jolt of hope in 2016 when they received an unexpected tip.

“The tipster had told us that his father had killed Noreen and put her into the trunk of the car,” sister-in-law Kathleen Greenley told CTV Toronto.

According to the caller, the father had told his son shortly before his death that he had used a bulldozer to bury the car near Highway 57, which he was helping to build at the time. He claimed Greenley’s body was in the trunk when he used a bulldozer to knock it into the ground.

“I know it sounds like a crazy story, but they never did find Noreen or the car. It only makes sense that they’re together,” Kathleen Greenley said.

Following that revelation, Greenley’s relatives began searching out parcels of land along the highway where a car could have been buried in 1963. An expert team found one hotspot, using a magnetometer to determine that an unusual object appeared to be buried underground on the property.

“There were certain areas of the property that showed a significant anomaly that could be consistent with a car,” said forensic anthropologist Renee Willmon.

An excavator was brought in by Durham Regional police Thursday to dig up that area.

According to police, two long and deep trenches were dug Thursday and scanned with a metal detector. As of Thursday afternoon, the renewed search has still not yielded any evidence. It remains to be seen if police will continue looking in the area.

“Maybe she was murdered and put in that car. We have no evidence or truth of that but people keep on bringing it up, so we’re investigating that angle,” said Det.-Sgt. Mitch Martin.

“We don’t know where she is, so how do we know she’s not here?”

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney