Big break in Hanna disappearance a DNA test away

Published: May. 21, 2011 at 4:43 AM EDT|Updated: May. 21, 2011 at 4:49 AM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new detective may be responsible for digging up a hot lead in the cold case of missing person Brandy Hanna. It's been six years since Hanna went missing, but on the anniversary of the young woman's disappearance North Charleston police have found what may turn out to be their most promising lead yet: A shoe.

"The last six years have been an agonizing hell," says Hanna's mother Donna Parent.

Parent has been on an emotional roller coaster since her daughter disappeared May 20, 2005. But with the finding of a shoe blocks away from where Hanna used to live, Parent is almost positive the ride is coming to an end.

"The instinct that I had in my gut feeling," says Parent.  "Just like the night she disappeared... I knew it was her shoe."

Although Parent didn't see the shoe, she says the description from the detective of the colors, size and most importantly the style dating back six years ago means one thing to her.

"If her shoe is there, then the rest of her should be there... and it can put an end to this nightmare," says Hanna's mother.

At this stage, officers say there's no evidence linking the shoe to Brandy Hanna.

But as family and friends gathered for a vigil at Alex's Restaurant off Dorchester Road Friday, the shoe is being tested for Hanna's DNA.

Parent says it's just a matter of time before she thinks the test comes back positive. The only way officers say they can pull DNA from the shoe is if it was slipped on without a sock.

If the shoe isn't a match, Parent says she's preparing for that as well.

"If it isn't maybe it'll be tied to something else," says Parent. "Then we start looking again."

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