Stephen Collins and his family have gone through this before. Promising leads of where his brother's remains may be only for those to turn into dead ends.
"We have to be guarded," he said of the news Tuesday that authorities were digging in San Francisco to find clues to his brother Kevin's disappearance in 1984.
"We've gotten our hopes and got let down by that. So we're skeptical until something really concrete is shown," Collins said from his Walnut Creek home.
Investigators from the San Francisco Police Department and the FBI have been digging in a backyard and a basement at a home in the Haight-Ashbury, but by evening, announced that they had only found animal bones in a duplex in the 1100 block of Masonic Avenue. Kevin Collins was ten years old when he disappeared. The family says he had just left basketball practice at St. Agnes and was supposed to get a ride home with his older brother Gary's coach.
"The coach actually drove, dropped off a bunch of kids, ended up at our house, looked back in the back of his truck and saw that Kevin wasn't there," Collins said.
Collins remembers his father and the coach going out to the school and then driving back and forth on the path Kevin would have walked.
"There are one or two witnesses that saw him after that," Collins said. "There's a spot where he was last seen and it's where this house is right now that's being dug up today."
Over the past 29 years, the family has grown to accept Kevin will not be coming home. A memorial bench was placed at a cemetery on the 10-year anniversary of his disappearance in 1994.
"I think it's important to have, it would be nice to have that concrete closure. That real closure," Collins said.
Collins mother, Ann Collins of Concrod, told NBC Bay Area by phone that she's in a "wait and see" mode. That's because she says she's "been in this situation a few times before."