Update #1: Police say finding cause/manner of death from the skeletal remains found in Studebaker will be challenging.

Photo via Argus Leader of submerged Studebaker.

Photo via Argus Leader of submerged Studebaker.

Earlier this week authorities found the skeletal remains in a 1960 Studebaker that was under a bridge, in a South Dakota creek.  These remains are likely tied to a 40 year-old cold case.  Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson, both 17, were last seen in Union County, S.D., driving to party in a Studebaker on May 29, 1971.

Forensic investigators will examine and test the remains found this week to see if they can positively identify them as belonging to the two teenagers who disappeared 42 years ago.  But experts doubt they will be able to determine how they died.

Because the skeletal remains were submerged in the water for 42 years, it may never be known if this was a simple car accident or something more sinister.  A forensic anthropologist will be able to determine gender, race, and age from the bones.  But determining cause and manner of death will be difficult because this will depend on the presence of injuries to the bones.  And even if the bones are damaged, concluding whether deaths the of these girls were caused by an accident or homicide will be challenging.

Video of the recovery is available at GMA/Yahoo!:


UPDATE 04/16/14Investigators: 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.

Skeletons recovered from a Studebaker in South Dakota, may belong to missing teens


Categories: Forensic Science, News


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