Body Dug Up in Northern California May Be That of Teen Missing Since 2009

PHOTO: Steven Humphrey has been missing since Jan. 26, 2009.

The discovery of a body in a Fresno, Calif., backyard has prompted the family of a teen missing since 2009 to believe it might be him.

Fresno police served a search warrant on a southeast Fresno home on Tuesday, and around 4 p.m. uncovered the body of a teenager while digging up the backyard. Police said they received a tip last week that a body might be buried on the property.

"It's tragic, and that's why we had close to 20 detectives out here digging, probably digging about 20 tons of dirt. We had the public works department assisting us as well," Lt. Mark Salazar told ABC affiliate KFSN.

Although the body has not yet been identified, the family of teenager Steven Humphrey, who disappeared in 2009, told the Fresno Bee that it believes the body could be his.

Randy Essman told the newspaper that his nephew Steven was last seen on Jan. 26, 2009. Humphrey lived in the same neighborhood where the body was recovered.

"Now we know he's not going to come home, but it's stirring it all up again," he told the Bee. "We've been waiting for this day for four years."

Police said that several people were interviewed regarding the case, but no one had been taken into custody.

Humphrey is described as white, with brown hair and brown eyes, 5 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing 100 pounds, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. His left ear is pierced, and he may use the name Nevets or Steven Essman-Humphrey, according to the center.

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