CHICAGO (CBS) –– Cook County police won’t get the go-head to search property on Chicago’s Northwest Side, where investigators believe it’s possible more victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy could be buried.

Sheriff’s police wanted to use radar and cadaver-smelling dogs before potentially digging at the site, on a corner lot on West Miami Avenue. But a review by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office indicated their proposed search warrant did not pass legal muster to present to a judge, the sheriff’s office said in a news release Thursday.

The sheriff’s department said owners of the property also declined to give authorities permission to do a search. The Chicago police had previously conducted a search there in November 1998.

Acting on a tip that Gacy had been seen in the 1970s holding a dirty shovel near what was then his mother’s apartment, police spent days going over the property. But that search 14 years ago was a bust.  The only things turned up included chunks of concrete, a glass marble and a saucepan.

“That search resulted in a media frenzy, which greatly disrupted the living conditions of (owners’) tenants,” the sheriff’s department news release said.

Sheriff Tom Dart’s office has reopened certain aspects of the Gacy investigation and has used DNA testing in hopes of identifying still-unnamed victims.

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