Nothing found after police dig Delco home in search of woman missing since 2013

COLLINGDALE, Pa. (WPVI) -- Police believed they were close to breaking the disturbing case involving Melissa Rodriguez, a young mother of two who mysteriously vanished nearly four years ago.

On Tuesday night, the eerily quiet Collingdale, Delaware County white home that long sat empty along Lafayette Avenue was buzzing with police activity.

In recent days, cadaver dogs have made positive hits in the basement of her estranged husband's former home.

Police said the area in the basement had a "fresh cement job."

"It's kind of driving me crazy. I drive pass there every day going home. I live three blocks up; the police station is three blocks that way. I stop at the stop sign every day. I look at that house and I just say to myself, 'Where's Melissa?' Collingdale Police Chief Robert Adams said.

Since 2013, Collingdale police were unable to get into the house until a bank foreclosure was finalized in recent days. A break in the case seemed inevitable.

The significance is "major, absolutely major," the police chief said as the digging continued.

"I knew it right away because nobody else goes in that house. It's just been like a closed dark house ever since," neighbor Ashley Sockwell said.
The 30-year-old went missing April 19, 2013, after she failed to show up at friend's home in New Jersey.

Police later dug up the backyard after Sockwell told authorities she saw the husband, Jose Rodriguez, digging the night before his wife went missing.

They found nothing that day.

And after hours of digging Tuesday, police came up empty handed again.

"You can't imagine. You can't imagine how frustrating this is for me," Adams said.

Chief Adams says while it is definite that Melissa Rodriguez is dead, he wants to give closure to her mother.

"I hope to God I do before I retire. I want to be able to call Mrs. Rodriguez and tell her we found her daughter," Adams said.

The search for Melissa Rodriguez will continue Wednesday.
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