Utah woman grateful to be alive as authorities dig for bodies near her childhood home

Local News

LAYTON, Utah (News4Utah) — Imagine seeing authorities dig up bodies near your childhood home.

That’s the reality of a Utah woman who says she could have been murdered in Michigan.

“It’s a shock,” said Heather Podolan, a Layton resident. “It really is – especially in that quiet area of my hometown.”

Podolan grew up in Macomb Township, Michigan. That’s where police detectives and FBI agents searched for bones less than a half a mile from the backyard of Podolan’s childhood home. Tuesday marks day two of their search.

Authorities believe they’ll find the remains of up to seven young girls in a wooded area, which is 45 miles northeast of Detroit.

“It’s a shock. It really is – especially in that quiet area of my hometown,” said Podolan. “Oh my goodness. I’ve been back there multiple times walking, I biked, we four wheeled back there. I’m thinking what would happen to me if I met this guy?”

68-year-old Arthur Ream led detectives to the area. He confessed to burying a 13-year-old girl who disappeared in 1986 near today’s search. That girl’s remains were found in 2008. Ream confessed while already in prison for molesting a different teenage girl.

Podolan says she feels lucky to be alive. She could have been the one missing in the woods all these years.

“Me and some of my friends, we matched the description of these girls growing up, so I’m like ‘this could have been me,'” said Podolan.

If authorities find bodies, Podolan hopes this will provide families closure; however, she says that closure may not come easy. There may be challenges ahead.

“That area floods majorly every year,” said Podolan. “When it rains, which I’m hearing they’re expecting some rains to come in in the next few days, I don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Arthur Ream is currently serving a life sentence.

Authorities are hoping their search uncovers more bodies, so there can be closure to cold cases.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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