LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - After the report from authorities that two bodies were found buried in the backyard of a Traskwood home, Benton Alderman Joe Lee Richards Sr. is convinced the remains could be that of his missing son's.
"I think they'll find when the DNA comes back in a few days that one of them is going to be my son," says Joe Lee Richards Sr.
He has been searching for his son since Oct. 8, 2010.
"Joey was a good hearted boy. He was that. He would do anything for anybody," says Richards' oldest son, Michael. Both have searched tirelessly for Joe Lee Richards Jr.
"He worked construction a lot so he traveled a lot doing that; he stayed gone for periods of time, but he was never out of contact with my father," says Michael.
After ten days with no word from his youngest son last year, Richards says his heart told him the truth.
"Everything he had was in his truck and he doesn't just walk off and leave it. I knew then, he was dead. I had no doubt in my mind. I've known that for a year. All I've been trying to do is find the body," says Richards.
On Monday, a break in the case led authorities to a home in Traskwood. Tuesday, they discovered the remains of two people buried close by.
Richards, Sr., who is battling pneumonia, hopes the news will bring closure.
"I have been sick, but I have been determined that I wasn't going to die until I get him in the grave. A proper burial. Everybody deserves a proper burial," says Richards.
"If one of the bodies turns out to be my brother, that's fine. We'll have some closure. But there was a second body found and that means there is another family somewhere that has no idea. At least we know as much as we know," says Michael.
Through their grief, the family continues to have faith in justice.
"God said vengeance is mine and I must obey his command. So if they were standing right here and I had a machine gun, I couldn't do anything because God will take care of it," says Richards.
Joe Lee Richards Sr. was a long time sheriff in Saline County and is a Benton Alderman. His son, Michael is a deputy there.
The Richards' family says they are more than grateful for all the work the Benton Police Department and other agencies have done over the last year in the search for their son.
They could not say enough how thankful they are to have law enforcement officials so dedicated to this case.
Lt. Kevin Russell with Benton Police says they do have a person of interest, a female, but have not arrested anyone yet. The remains are currently at the state crime lab awaiting identification.