Prosecutors have established a task force to take a new look at what happened to three girls who disappeared decades ago from the same area of eastern Connecticut.
Family members of the missing girls joined law enforcement officials to announce the new Tolland County Cold Case Task Force at a news conference Thursday.
The state is offering $150,000 in rewards for the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the disappearance of Lisa Joy White, Debra Spickler and Janice Pockett, who vanished between 1968 and 1974 in the Vernon-Tolland area.
White and Spickler were 13 when they were last seen, and Pockett was 7.
"It would mean nothing more to me than to be able to bring home my sister's remains to lay at rest with my mother," said Aprille Falletti, White's sister.
She sat side by side with Pockett's sister Mary Engelbrecht at the press conference – connected not by blood but by what they've endured.
"[The task force] gives me renewed hope that we can find out what happened to my sister, Lisa White and Debbie Spickler," Englebrecht said.
"Anytime I hear about remains found anywhere, there is always that thought in the back of my head," she added.
Authorities said they hope to bring the families what little peace of mind they can.
"These family members need closure. These little girls, these young girls were snatched from them, and we owe it to them to try and answer questions about exactly what happened," said state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.
Members of the task force also will take up the case of skeletal remains of a woman in her 40s or 50s found last year, but police say they have no reason to believe they are linked to the other three cases.
"Someone out there knows something. Someone has a little piece of information, and we look at the investigation like a puzzle. That little piece might be able to draw a picture for us and bring closure to these cases," Vance said.