Crime dog sniffs remains at Kristen Modafferi home

A private investigator hired by the family of a woman who disappeared just over 18 years ago in San Francisco contacted police Thursday regarding possible new evidence at the woman’s former Oakland home, according to police.

Investigator Paul Dostie, a retired police officer, searched the home in the 200 block of Jayne Street in Oakland with his dog, Buster, which is trained to locate human remains. The two were searching for evidence connected to the June 23, 1997 disappearance of 18-year-old Kristen Modafferi, a North Carolina college student who had lived in the house near Lake Merritt only a short time when she went missing.

Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said:

“The dog ‘hit’ at that location and in the area.”

Oakland police sent crime scene technicians and investigators to the scene and will stay in communication with Dostie, Watson said:

“If there’s any information that has developed that would move this case forward to bring answers to questions and closure to the family we certainly will listen and look at any information or possibilities.”

Watson noted that department crime scene technicians searched the house and surrounding area with dogs 18 years ago when Modafferi first disappeared.

Modaferri was last seen at the Crocker Galleria in San Francisco in the company of an unknown white, blonde woman. She was wearing a “Spinelli Coffee” t-shirt, beige pants and a blue plaid shirt, and was described as white, with long brown hair and brown eyes, 5 feet 6 inches tall and around 140 pounds.

Modaferri told co-workers at the time that she was headed for Baker Beach but it could not be confirmed whether she ever arrived there, police said at the time.