The recent search in Shad Bay, Nova Scotia has renewed interest in cold cases in our region.

While the RCMP isn’t saying what led them to the property, they have acknowledged it was in relation to a major unsolved crime.

For family members who are still searching for answers in their loved ones disappearance or murder, it’s a situation that brings back all sorts of emotions every time.                  

“It’s definitely the situation where you hold your breath for a minute,” says Megan Adams, Kimberly McAndrew’s sister.

Last weekend investigators called to let her family know a search was being done in Shad Bay, in relation to a major unsolved crime.

“There was no connection made,” says Adams. “It was kept in generalities basically.” 

The property searched is owned by a brother to Andrew Paul Johnson.

Johnson is in a British Columbia prison and has long been considered a suspect in the disappearance of Adams’ sister, Kimberly McAndrew.

According to parole board documents, he’s a person of interest in several homicides in the Halifax area.

Cpl. Shawn Mason is the officer in charge of the cold case unit. He knows the search got lots of people talking on the weekend.

“Since Sunday night when we cleared, or even really once it sort of became known in the media, the phone calls, the people coming up to you and saying you know I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something,” explains Cpl. Mason.

It renewed interest for many, but also stirred up emotions for the families of victims of major unsolved crimes.

“We were contacted by many,” says Megan Adams. “Many peoples that thought it was just a forgone conclusion that this is where Kim was, and that she was being found.”

Kimberly McAndrew disappeared when she was 19-years-old, in the summer of 1989 after clocking out of work at a Canadian Tire store in Halifax.

Even after all these years, the thought of a new lead leaves the family wondering.

“Is this it?” questions Adams. “Does this, what does this mean? Is this related to Kim? You start going down that road, and honestly it is not a fun road to go down.”

“It sort of stopped me in my tracks when I heard it,” exclaims retired homicide investigator, Tom Martin. “I had families that called me when the Shad Bay incident was going on.”  

Martin says it grabs the attention of the community, as well as investigators working these cases.

“She was one of our children that was grabbed off the street,” Martin adds. “That could have happened to any one of us and our families.”

“I think that when you meet these families and then you walk away you get this, get inspired that you’re gonna come back to the office and you’re gonna do everything you possibly can to give them closure,” explains Cpl. Mason.

Until then, Megan Adams and her family never loose sight of the person they had in their lives for 19 years.

“She was a really funny girl,” describes Adams. “She was very goofy, and had a great ability to laugh at herself. I think because she knew we would anyway, so you know, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jacqueline Foster