By Audrina Bigos

CHICAGO (CBS) – An intense search is underway for the remains of a 12-year-old girl last seen four decades ago.

Law enforcement hopes the search could lead them to the bodies of up to half a dozen other girls. as well.

Equipped with bulldozers and other heavy machinery, multiple police agencies searched a wooded area in Macomb County, 30 miles north of Detroit, Michigan.

They were digging for the remains of 12-year-old Kimberly King who disappeared in September of 1979 after a sleepover at a friend’s house.

Kimberly King, 12, last seen September 1979

King’s friend Annie spoke to media last December about her friend’s disappearance, saying “I feel like that day or those 48 hours are scorched into my brain and I’ll never forget them.”

“We have probable cause that this is a gravesite that Kimberly King and other young females were murdered and buried here,” stated Commissioner Bill Dwyer. “Recovery efforts and the search could last two to four days. We’re trying to bring closure to the families of the victims.”

This is not the first time officials have searched the area. In 2008, they found the body of 13-year-old Cindy Zarzycky. The discovery came after months of talking with the suspected serial killer Arthur Ream. Ream was later convicted of first-degree murder.

Arthur Ream is serving a life sentence, but during a temporary release, he drew a map and spent an hour with authorities at the grave site.