(KOLR) For three decades, there have been a lot of questions about what happened to a mother of two children from rural Oregon County, Missouri. When she went missing, it shook up people for miles around.

“On a Saturday, everybody would come to town. Everybody knew everybody,” says Frances Hollis, Alton, Mo. resident.

“Its a peaceful quiet little town. I love it here, it’s home to me,” says Bonnie Rankin.

In a small southern Missouri town, there’s a three decade-old mystery still looming.

“I think they will eventually find her or find what happened,” says Hollis.

Brenda Dunham, a mother of two young children, disappeared on May 10,1985. She vanished from rural Oregon County.

“She disappeared,” says Chief Deputy Eric King.

The case went cold until Dunham’s sister, Debi Lawson, did her own investigation.

“I decided I wanted to find my niece and nephew and I did. That catapulted me into the realization [that] I wanted to know what happened to my sister,” says Lawson.

The case caught national attention, landing on “Cold Justice” last week. The episode ended with the prosecutor saying what the family has been waiting on for years.

“I think I’d like to take the time to process it all. She had a terrible life, victim of domestic violence. He’s making these threats and then she is missing.”

When Dunham went missing, people thought she was running from a bad relationship or small town Missouri life. But her family says she wouldn’t do that to her two kids and that’s when they knew something went wrong.

King says without the resources the show provided, this case may never be solved.

“We were able to put an investigator on this full time so he has been able to have the extra person.”

“I’m the only investigator that works here so our caseload is pretty high and to be able to dedicate that time to this case, we were excited,” says Oregon County investigator Dustin Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick says new leads come up when they unlock the file. “You follow one all the way to the end and whenever it dries up, you pick up another one.”

Time is playing against them.

“You can pretty much rule the fact out that she just run away. She had too much to leave behind,” says Kirkpatrick.

Lawson believes she know what happened to her sister.

“We know what happened to her, we just don’t know the details. We don’t know where she is at, we don’t know where her body is,” says Lawson.

After waiting and waiting, the family may be one step closer to closure.

“The town and the community is worried about it for 30 years, wondering what happened to her,” says King.

“Back when it all happened and everything, there was a lot of talk about this one did it, that one did it,” says Bonnie Rankin, Alton, Mo. resident.

King hopes they will be able to move forward soon on charges against the person responsible for the disappearance of Dunham.