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These Kinds Of Cases Are Fascinating To Me


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I read about these cases every once in awhile, and though sad, I just find them so interesting. My morbid curiosity I guess, but mainly because missing people are just sitting right there for decades while so many other people just pass by. I have read about many of these cases through out the years, probably around 20, starting with a woman, who disappeared in the 50s, was found in 1994 still in her car at the bottom of a river. How many more missing people are just lying there at the bottom of lakes, rivers, creeks, and canals waiting to be found? In 1997 at the bottom of a Boca Raton canal is where they found a van containing the remains of five teenagers missing since 1979.

Finally finding these missing people anwsers questions for families. My question is why, with so many discoveries like these and with new technology, more seaches in waterways are not done? especially when last known paths are along water, oh well. Unusual here is two such discoveries found within short time, and in the Oklahoma case, two cars, two different disappearances, months apart were found in the same place, potentially solving a total of six missing person cases.

After decades of mystery, closure may still take years following discovery of bodies at bottom of Okla. lake


Beckham County Sheriff's Office via AP

From left, Jimmy Allen Williams, Leah Gail Johnson and Thomas Michael Rios, three teens missing from Sayre, Okla., since 1970.

By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News

It could be years before the six people whose skeletal remains were discovered in two cars at the bottom of an Oklahoma lake are positively identified, authorities said Wednesday — but they were pretty sure the discovery will solve two 40-year-old missing persons cases.

The state medical examiner's office said it was calling in archaeologists to help piece together the skulls and other fragments in the cars, which state troopers stumbled upon last week as they were training with new sonar equipment at Foss Lake, near the town of Elk City.

Relatives of the people who disappeared in two missing persons cases more than 40 years ago have come forward to provide DNA to help with the identifications. But the remains are so badly decomposed that it could take months or even years to nail down all six IDs.

It all depends on how well the murky depths of Foss Lake have preserved them over the decades, the medical examiner's office said.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol divers found two cars side by side 12 feet underwater near an old marina. It's evidence that may help solve a decades-old missing persons case. NBC's Janet Shamlian reports.

"This lake isn't crystal clear. It's a typical western Oklahoma lake with a lot of silt in it. The visibility is only 6 to 12 inches on a good day," Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples told The Tulsa World. "We'll consider it a mystery until we prove otherwise."

Investigators are confident, however, that they've solved one of the two cases — the disappearance of three Sayre High School students in 1970.

The sheriff's office has already communicated with relatives of the three teenagers — Jimmy Allen Williams 16, Thomas Michael Rios, 18, and Leah Gail Johnson, 18 — to alert them to the discovery, NBC station KFOR of Oklahoma City reported.

What are believed to be their bodies were found in a blue 1969 Chevrolet Camaro — which matches the description of the car in which the teens were last seen on Nov. 20, 1970. That was Williams' car.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a bureau of the Justice Department's National Institute of Justice, notes speculation at the time that the teens, who'd said they were going to a football game in Elk City, may have detoured to go hunting at Foss Lake, instead.

Peoples said it was possible they simply drove into the lake and drowned.


Courtesy Elk City Daily News

Law enforcement officers examine one of two cars containing skeletal remains found at the bottom of Foss Lake in Oklahoma

"We know that to happen, even if you know your way around," he said. "It can happen that quick."

'All these years, they weren't very far from home'

For 43 years, the case has haunted he town of Sayre, about 15 miles southwest of Elk City, where you don't have to be an old-timer to know about it.

"I wasn't around at that time. I'm a lot younger," Mandy Dunlap, an employee at Pucketts Grocery, told KFOR. "But I've heard about it. I've heard about it for years."

For older residents, the discovery could mean much needed closure, said Wilna Plummer, who said she's known Williams' parents for many years.

"It was a big ordeal," Plummer told the station. "I mean, they just disappeared — no traces of them."

And "all these years, they weren't very far from home."

Much less is known about the second case. The second car, including its license tag, was so badly rusted out that the best investigators can say is that it's a green 1957 Chevrolet.

Peoples said the vehicle appears to be associated with the disappearance of three people last seen in Canute, about 10 miles south of the lake, in the 1960s. But there's little information about that case beyond long-ago-told stories.

In 1973, when he was working as a state trooper in Custer County, Peoples heard rumors that "there were two or three people in a car, and they were last seen in Canute," Peoples told The Elk City Daily News. "They were headed for Foss Lake and never seen again."

Tim Porter and Debbie Porter McManaman said they believe it was the car of their grandfather, John Alva Porter of Rogers Mills County, just west of Custer County, who disappeared in April 1969 at age 69.

"I remember that green car, yes," McManaman told KFOR. "It's sad. I can see his tall, lanky body walking up to the car. He always had a smile on his face."

"Forty-something years of wondering who or why," Tim Porter told The Tulsa World. "If it is my grandfather in there, it's a gift."

John Alva Porter's son Ervie is now 89 with dementia and wasn't available to comment, his family said. But McManaman said that for years, her dad would go looking for Porter. Would would "take my mom, and they'd look and look and look for any trace," she said.

"I mean, he was just gone," she said. "No trace at all. His money was in the bank, his house was intact and he was gone. So for over 40 years we've been looking for him."

Another car submerged for decades may solve missing persons case in South Dakota


National Missing and Unidentified Persons Database

Pamella Jackson, left, and Cheryl Miller, both 17 and both from Vermillion, S.D., disappeared May 29, 1971. Their car was found buried in a South Dakota creek Monday.

By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News

In an eerie echo of events earlier this month in Oklahoma, skeletal remains were discovered Tuesday in the car of two teenage girls who disappeared 42 years ago, a day after it was found wheels-up in a South Dakota creek, authorities said.

Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson, both 17 and both from Vermillion, in southeastern South Dakota, disappeared May 29, 1971, as they were on their way to a party, according to records on file with the Justice Department's National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

The beige 1960 Studebaker hadn't been seen until Monday, when a fisherman spotted its wheels poking up out of the water in Brule Creek near Elk Point, almost 30 miles east of Vermillion on the Iowa border.

The car was in bad shape after having been buried in the mud at the bottom of the creek for 42 years, and crews weren't able to pull it out until Tuesday, when they made the grisly discovery, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said at a news conference.

Jackley earlier told NBC station KDLT of Sioux City that the car was spotted thanks to a recent drought in the region, which dropped the creek's level low enough for it to emerge after four decades.


South Dakota attorney general's office

The South Dakota attorney general's office confirmed that a car found Monday in Brule Creek near Elk Point is the one two 17-year-old girls were riding in when they disappeared in May 1971.

Jackley said it can't yet be determined whether foul play was involved. But authorities didn't always have that doubt.

Cheryl and Pamella, juniors at Vermillion High School, were last seen on their way to a party at a gravel pit just a half-mile from where their car was found Monday, according to the federal missing persons database.

They began following a car full of boys whom they'd stopped to ask for directions to the party, but the boys told investigators that when they looked back in their rear-view mirror, the girls had vanished, the report says.

In 2004, clothing, bones, a purse and other items were found on a farm belonging to David Lykken, a convicted serial rapist who was subsequently indicted on six charges of murder in the girls' disappearance.

But those charges were dropped four years later when prosecutors learned that another inmate had made up his claim that Lykken had confessed to him. The informer was convicted of perjury, and Lykken remains in prison on the unrelated rape convictions.

After state troopers found two similarly mud-caked cars buried in a lake in Oklahoma earlier this month, it took them almost a week to discover that they contained what are presumed to be the bodies of six people who also disappeared in the early 1970s.

One of the cars found in Oklahoma was being used by three high school students who vanished in November 1970, just six months before Pamella and Cheryl disappeared.

Edited by AREA51
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Anyone think its kinda weird that there is no damage to the Camaro, no cracked windshield or anything, yet the windows appear to have been rolled up as if they didn't even try to escape?

If the recovery team had rolled the windows up to make it easier to pull from the water, the mud would have been scraped off it seems.

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