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After Decades, South Dakota Gravel Road Mystery Solved

Imagine, looking down into a slow running river, and seeing an old car turned upside down.

Think of how many ‘old cars’ you’ve seen in the same position.

Years ago, it was a fairly common site.

It took 42 years and technology to figure it out.

Wait, it also took a drought. It took a drought and someone with a inquisitive eye.

In the past 24 hours, reports and stories have been coming in, concerning the disappearance decades ago of two South Dakota teenagers. It’s mind boggling to even consider what parents, friends and family members must have wondered over the years. What had happened to these two young women.

KDLT News reports:

Authorities say two South Dakota girls missing since 1971 died after driving into a creek on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.

State and local officials held a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Elk Point confirming that evidence inside a 1960 Studebaker found last fall included the remains of Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson.

The authorities also showed dozens of photographs of the Vermillion girls’ clothing, a purse and Miller’s relatively well-preserved driver’s license.

The attorney general says people who saw the girls before they disappeared and other evidence indicates they had not been drinking. And mechanical tests on the car point away from foul play because it was in high gear.

Record flooding followed by a drought brought the vehicle into view last fall.

As a parent, it’s hard to imagine the hell this family has gone through over the years.

I’m glad to hear that alcohol wasn’t involved.

Since many of us live in rural areas or are from ‘the country,’ it’s a good time to talk with young drivers.Talk about loose gravel and taking your eye off the road, if only for a second.

That’s all it might take for a tragedy like this to happen somewhere, sometime…again.

Studebaker Union County
(South Dakota Attorney General)




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