There is renewed hope that the remains of a woman murdered in Glace Bay 35 years ago may soon be found.

The family of June Hibbs is staging a vigil at a site being excavated by the medical examiner's officer in the Nova Scotia town.

The mother of four was murdered in March 1976 and there is a possibility her body may have been buried at the site of a nursing home.

Seaview Manor was still a construction site back in 1976 and now the area on South Street is being excavated and examined by a forensic anthropology team.

"They've got something that we don't have," says son Blair Hibbs, who came from Ontario to watch the excavation. "Information that they can't release, obviously, that would interfere with the investigation."

Blair Hibbs tells CTV News that he and his brother Jack first alerted police to the site when a nursing home expansion project unearthed some animal remains.

The bones matched the breed and age of a family pet that disappeared along with their 32-year-old mother.

"I got up the next morning, on the Sunday, and my mother was gone and my dog was gone, and my whole world was turned upside down," says Blair. "I vowed at 13 years old I would not stop until I found my mom's remains and gave her a decent burial."

A body has never been recovered but June Hibbs's sister confessed to killing her years ago. Diane Campbell was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison.

Hibbs' husband, a police officer, was also charged but was never convicted. John Hibbs has since died.

Many in the neighbourhood believe the murder was the result of a love affair between Hibbs' husband and sister.

"It was pretty big at the time," says neighbour Anna MacNeil. "Everyone was wondering what was happening…the fact they could not find the body was pretty tragic."

The forensic search is scheduled to continue for five days. Right now it's an excavation site, but if human remains are found, it will become an exhumation and crime scene.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald