Wednesday 20 September 2017

Mystery as police discover bodies of six people missing for over 40 years

Law enforcement officials from multiple agencies examine the two cars pulled from Foss Lake, in Foss, Oklahoma
Law enforcement officials from multiple agencies examine the two cars pulled from Foss Lake, in Foss, Oklahoma

John Swaine

MYSTERY surrounds the discovery of the remains of six people found in two cars that had sat rusting for more than 40 years at the bottom of an American lake.

The bodies were found purely by chance when police officers tried out their new sonar equipment.

Three teenagers, who were last seen in November 1970, are believed to have been found in one car, while the other is thought to contain three men who disappeared separately almost a decade earlier.

Their 'cold cases' have been reopened after the mud-caked cars, Chevrolets from the 1950s and 60s, were pulled from Foss Lake, a vast man-made reservoir near Elk City, in rural western Oklahoma.

"We never gave up," said Debbie McManamman, who believes the older car contains the remains of her grandfather, Alvi Porter.

"We always wanted some clue that somebody knew something."

"I can still see his tall, lanky body walking up to the car," she said.

"He always had a smile on his face." Her grandfather, who was 69, went missing 44 years ago. His family were puzzled yesterday by the mystery identities of two people whose remains were apparently discovered alongside his own.

Police said the other car matched a 1969 Camaro that belonged to 16-year-old Jimmy Williams, who disappeared with his 18-year-old friends Thomas Rios and Leah Johnson on November 20, 1970.

The trio, who have been listed as missing persons ever since, were thought to have been on their way to watch a football match in Elk City, but could have made a detour to go hunting by the lake.

The cars were detected by new sonar equipment that officers from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol happened to be testing at the lake.

The remains will now be inspected by the local medical examiner. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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