ARDMORE, Okla. -- The discovery of skeletal remains in Ardmore reawakened new hopes and old fears in the family of a missing man.
Last week, children playing in a creek bed made a grisly discovery after they found a skull and mounted it on a stick.
"As they approached us, my partner, he's like, ‘Hey, that looks real.' So we get up real closer, and sure enough...it was a skeleton skull, a human skull," Ardmore resident Anthony Joe said.
The discovery in Ardmore touched a nerve of a woman in Byars, whose son disappeared three years ago.
"It brings up everything again," Violet McCullough said. "You don't know if this is your son...I don't know, it just scares you."
McCullough's son Jimmy was last seen leaving an Ardmore casino alone June 3, 2005.
"I think someone killed him," Jimmy's sister Carol Terrill said. "They could have robbed him, we don't know."
Last week's discovery wasn't the first time human remains were found that might be connected to Jimmy McCullough's disappearance.
In March 2006, other skeletal remains were found only two blocks from the casino where McCullough was last seen, but the family said those remains are still being tested at the University of North Texas.
"It seems like an awful long time just to do DNA," Violet McCullough said.
The skull has remained in the hands of the medical examiner.
Three years with no answers has taken its toll on the McCullough family.
"I even called someone by his name once," Carol Terrill said. "When he turned it wasn't him, it's very, very agonizing."
Jimmy's family said they think about him every day and in the end, they would like to have peace about his disappearance.
The medical examiner plans to bring in forensic expert Dr. Clyde Snow to help identify the skull.