WAPWALLOPEN — Police hope that modern technology can solve a cold case nearly half a century old.
So does the family of Benjamin Krupinski, who went missing suddenly on Nov. 2, 1968.
Mr. Krupinski was 62 when he was last seen leaving the former Rinehimer Inn on Lily Lake Road in Conyngham Twp. Mr. Krupinski was renting a room at the inn and boarding house at the time.
Four days later, his family reported him missing.
Police searched for the former coal miner and breaker boy from Glen Lyon, but no trace of Mr. Krupinski was ever found, according to Trooper Tom Kelly of the Pennsylvania State Police.
On Saturday, the search resumed.
This time, police used ground-penetrating radar to search the basement of the former inn where Mr. Krupinski disappeared. The basement had a dirt floor in 1968 but has since been covered in cement.
The building’s current owner, J. Walp II, gave permission for Master Locators Inc. of Glen Mills to search the basement using the latest radar sensory technology available, Trooper Kelly said. Based on clues developed over decades of investigating, police believe Mr. Krupinski’s remains might be buried there, he said.
“We don’t give up on cases,” Trooper Kelly said during a press conference near the boat dock at Lily Lake.
The results of the search will not be known for at least a week, after a technical lab analyzes its results, but Mr. Krupinski’s children made clear their relief and gratitude Saturday.
“Hopefully we can find some closure and help the family come to the point where we can put Dad to rest,” said Tony Krupinski, son of the missing man.
Tony Krupinski and his sister, RoseAnn Briggs of Nanticoke, showed up early Saturday morning to watch the crew from Master Locators search for their father. Both were in their 20s when he vanished.
They shared old photographs of Benjamin Krupinski from the 1960s. Several of the photos show him holding his favorite cane — not a fashion accessory but needed support to help him walk, thanks to severe asthma he contracted from working in the coal mines, his children said.
That hand-carved cane might hold the answer to what happened to Benjamin Krupinski, his son said.
The cane was found in a closet after the Rinehimer Inn was sold in the 1970s, years after Benjamin Krupinski disappeared, his children said. Their father took that cane with him everywhere and never would have voluntarily left it behind, they said.
Both said they believe their father was killed, possibly because he stumbled across something he was not meant to see at the inn, which attracted a rough crowd.
As he walked from Lily Lake to the site of the former inn, Tony Krupinski recalled happy times with his father when he was a young man. As he stood in front of the building, a neighbor approached him and said she hopes the searchers finally find Benjamin Krupinski.
“I hope so, too,” he said.