A beige 1960 Studebaker Lark found in Brule Creek this week is believed to be linked to two 17-year-old South Dakota girls, Pamella Jackson and Cheryl Miller, who went missing in 1971.
The vehicle was discovered by a fisherman who happened to be passing by the creek, just south of the 310th Street bridge. It was overturned and its tires just broke the water’s surface. Police were called in; they lifted the mangled car and found skeletal remains inside.
A recovered hubcap and the license plate confirmed that the car matched the description of the Studebaker once owned by Cheryl Miller’s grandfather, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said.
The girls were last seen in their home town of Vermillion, South Dakota, on May 29, 1971. They had gone to visit Miller’s sick grandmother who was in the hospital, then headed out to a party. Along the way, they asked some boys in front of a church for directions. The girls followed the boys’ car, and the boys claimed they lost them along the way.
Authorities believe that the Studebaker remained submerged in the creek for 42 years, being revealed only this week after high spring water levels were followed by a summer drought.
It is not yet known if the remains in the vehicle belong to one or more bodies. In 2007 David Lykken of Alcester, South Dakota, was indicted for murder in the deaths of Jackson and Miller, but all charges were dropped when it was discovered that a prisoner made up a plan to falsely implicate Lykken.
News of the discovery of the Studebaker comes just two weeks after two cars containing the remains of six people were found at the bottom of Foss Lake in Oklahoma.
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