In 2012, more than 100 Sitkans joined a candlelight vigil at Totem Park for Lael Grant, a 33-year-old mother of two, who disappeared on October 14 of that year.

An intensive search over the weekend of an area near Sitka’s ferry terminal turned up no new evidence in a missing person cold case.

Sitka police are revisiting the unsolved disappearance of a woman nine years ago, hoping new eyes and new investigative tools can make a difference.

Lael Grant.

Lael Grant’s car was found abandoned on the Nelson Logging Road outside of Sitka in 2012, shortly after Grant was reported missing.

Searchers spent about two weeks at the time, combing through the heavily-forested valley for any signs of the missing 33-year old.

In 2015, three years after her disappearance, the courts issued a ruling of presumptive death for Grant.

Officer Hal Henning is one of two members of the Sitka Police Department who’ve been tasked with reinvestigating Grant’s disappearance.

Henning arrived in Sitka last July. He says Sitka’s police chief Robert Baty wanted a fresh perspective on Grant’s disappearance.

“It’s been through many officers and detectives over the years, and just having fresh eyes sometimes helps see new things,” said Henning.

The Nelson Logging Road and shooting range in Sitka were closed to the public for two full days on April 17 and 18, while a total of 29 searchers and 7 cadaver dogs conducted a grid search in the vicinity of where Grant’s car was found nine years ago. The dogs and their handlers came from the Mat-Su in Alaska, Idaho, and Washington State. Henning says the dogs have remarkable abilities.

“Some of these teams have been successful in the past in locating remains of people from twenty years prior,” he said.

The dogs were volunteered by their respective search and rescue departments, including one dog with Sitka’ Search and Rescue. King County Search and Rescue in Seattle supplied logistical support and was incident command for the two-day search (Ed Christian, incident commander).

Henning says the news that investigators were taking another look at the Nelson Logging road generated a flurry of speculation on social media about a breakthrough in the Grant case. He cautions people against coming to any premature conclusions.

“We wanted to reiterate that there has been no new evidence, that’s not why we’re up here,” said Henning. “We’re basically retracing old footsteps to make sure that we do everything feasible to bring closure to the case.”

Henning says that there were no “aha” moments in the search. Many bones were found; none of them human.

The investigation, however, is ongoing. “We’re taking it from the ground up,” said Henning. Last August, an even older cold case — the 1996 homicide of Jessica Baggen — was solved using genetic genealogy methods unavailable in 2012. Henning didn’t rule out the possibility that some of those new tools could be used to solve the disappearance of Lael Grant.