HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WTVD) -- The people who loved Kent Jacobs and knew him best say they hope the current search happening at Jackson Street in Hope Mills will finally bring some justice to whoever might be behind his disappearance.
"For them to do what they done, they need to be punished for it," said Michael Anthony Jones, a friend of Kent Jacobs who lives near the search site. "Then his family will be able to rest. It's not going to bring him back, but it will probably make them feel a lot better."
"Anytime new developments arise in this case, our family is taken back to one of the worst days of our lives, March 10th, 2002," a family statement read, in part. "But we still search and yearn to find Kent -- our beloved son, brother, uncle, and friend."
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said it decided to launch the new search after receiving a tip from CrimeStoppers.
Jacobs' body has never been found despite the several searches conducted by authorities. The last ground search happened in 2010.
Several of Jacobs' friends live just steps away from the search area and said they hope the authorities will finally find his remains so he can have a proper burial.
"Anytime you can lay one to rest, you know, I think that would be a closure for them," said Laxton Hardin. "Not knowing, not knowing who did it or where he was at, this would have to bring some closure."
"I just keep praying and I hope that the family finds the closure that they're looking for because that's very important to families like us that just want happy times," said Jeremy Schultz.