This is the week that the bodies missing people are recovered from submerged cars. Earlier this week a fisherman noticed the wheel of a car sticking out of a creekside embankment in Brule Creek near Elk Point, SD. When police arrived at the site and recovered the vehicle Tuesday afternoon they discovered it was a rusted Studebaker that contained human remains. High spring water levels followed by a drought this summer helped reveal the old car.
Investigators are trying to establish whether the car wreck could be linked to the disappearance of two high school juniors, Pam Jackson and Cheryl Miller, in 1971. The girls were last seen on May 29, 1971, driving a beige 1960 Studebaker Lark on their way to a party. Elk Point isn’t far from the town where Miller and Jackson were from. Officials believe the skeletal remains belong to the girls, but will not release more information until they run conclusive tests to get a positive ID.
The disappearance of the two girls was one of the initial investigations of South Dakota’s cold case unit, formed in June 2004 to focus on unsolved suspicious deaths and disappearances. A man, who is serving a prison sentence on unrelated charges, was indicted for murder in the deaths of Miller and Jackson in 2007. But the charges were dropped after prosecutors found out that prison snitch faked the confession.
UPDATE 04/16/14: Investigators: South Dakota girls missing since 1971 died when Studebaker drove into creek
Update #2: Skeletal remains found in submerged car in South Dakota sent to University of Texas for positive id.
Update #1: Police say finding cause/manner of death from the skeletal remains found in Studebaker will be challenging.
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