A 1971 cold case involving the disappearance of two 17-year old girls might have been solved this week after authorities in Alcester, S.D. pulled a 1960 Studebaker Lark from a local creek where it had been submerged for several decades. Inside the car, police found skeletal remains.
Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson went missing in May of 1971 while on their way to a party. They were last seen driving a 1960 Studebaker Lark, with the same license plates as those on the car recovered by police, CNN local affiliate KTIV-TV reported
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The car was discovered on Monday by a local fisherman after a recent spell of dry weather had depleted the creek's water level making the car visible from the shoreline.
The car, which was removed from the embankment on Tuesday with the help of a crane, was found just a half mile from the girls' intended destination in 1971, KTIV-TV noted.
After finding the skeletons inside the vehicle, authorities dispatched cadaver dogs to the surrounding mud embankments, however were reportedly unable to find any other human remains.
The skeletal remains are now in a lab, where they are being analyzed to confirm the identity of those killed in the incident, says Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges, who could not say how long the procedure would take.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley acknowledged that other evidence was removed from the scene however would not provide specifics as to what police recovered. Additionally, Limoges would not elaborate as to how the girls might have died, CNN reported
The discovery comes just days after Jackson's father died last week at the age of 102.
In 2007, a man who was already serving a prison sentence on unrelated charges was indicted for murder in the deaths of Miller and Jackson, who at the time were presumed dead, the Associated Press reported
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The indictment against 59-year-old David Lykken, which was based on a supposed jailhouse confession to a fellow inmate, was subsequently dropped after authorities learned prison snitch had made the confession up.
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