(CUSTER COUNTY, Okla) — Up to six bodies were discovered inside two rusty and mud-caked cars that Oklahoma officials stumbled upon at the bottom of a lake.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s lake patrol division was using new sonar equipment in Foss Lake in Custer County, Okla., when they detected some unusual echoes.
“A new sonar that they’ve got discovered two echoes that indicate that there were two cars,” Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples told ABC News affiliate KOCO-TV. “They pulled them out [and] they discovered human remains in both vehicles.”
The two cars were pulled from the bottom of the lake and were brown with mud and rust.
Investigators believe they may have some leads on the identities of the people in the cars, possibly solving cold cases from more than 40 years ago.
“Missing persons reports from 1969 and 1970 that originate from neighboring jurisdiction show real similarity with the vehicles that were recovered from the lake and the investigation is proceeding along those lines,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “However, no positive identification has been made.”
Peoples said one of the cars may belong to 16-year-old Jimmy Williams who was reported missing in 1970. His car was a 1969 blue Chevrolet Camaro, which looked similar to one of the cars that was recovered.
He was last known to be driving around with his friends Thomas Rios, 18, and Leah Johnson, 18, and none of them have been seen since.
“This very well may be the car with three missing teens from Sayre in 1970,” Peoples told KOCO-TV. “We have some indication that the other vehicle is one that was reported missing in 1969.”
Police said the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office will take possession of the remains once they have been removed from the cars and will possibly try to match DNA of the remains to known surviving family members.
“It’s closure for those families that no longer have to wonder what happened to their loved ones and that’s one of the reasons, of course, we investigate this to determine if a crime was committed,” Peoples said.
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