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Investigators using cadaver dogs in search for Kirsten Hatfield’s body

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - The search for Kirsten Hatfield's body will continue Friday morning.

Thursday, investigators still could not find any human remains at Anthony Palma's home.

Palma was arrested Monday in the cold case after a nearly perfect DNA match linked him to the crime.

The police chief said this could take days, weeks even to find anything.

Palma is staying tight lipped right now, so investigators are on their own now that this 18-year-old cold case has finally heated up.

Neighbors watched closely as another day went by.

Investigators won't give up their search for little Kirsten's body.

Thursday, police cleared out everything in Palma's garage and piled it in the front yard.

That allowed cadaver dogs to sweep the garage.

They swept the backyard, too.

That's where investigators are using radar to see if anything is underground.

"We know that Mr. Palma is connected to this case through DNA evidence, which is irrefutable at this point," said Police Chief Brandon Clabes. "Now, what we want to know is why and how - all the circumstances surrounding the case 18 years ago."

So far, investigators haven't found any human remains, only some animal bones buried in the backyard.

Clabes expects the search to be a long process that may not lead them to Kirsten's body - at the house, at least.

They aren't ruling out searching where Palma works at Lake Thunderbird.

"Obviously, that could be an option in the future, where we would go," Clabes said. "Lake Thunderbird's a big piece of property. You'd have to have more specifics. We couldn't just go out there and look."

Law enforcement vehicles were again parked all down Jet Drive, a quiet neighborhood street made well known to Oklahoma in 1997, when family went on the news pleading for Kirsten's safe return.

Now, 18 years later, an alleged killer is behind bars, but there are still so many unanswered questions.

Palma was single back in 1997, but now he has a wife and daughter.

Police said they are cooperating with the investigation.

Police have not yet turned over the case to the district attorney.