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Thread: Divers Discover Two Old Cars with Six Bodies in Them in Oklahoma Lake

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Default Divers Discover Two Old Cars with Six Bodies in Them in Oklahoma Lake

    Oklahoma lake bodies: Diver, trooper recount discovery

    By Ed Payne, CNN
    updated 10:34 AM EDT, Thu September 19, 2013





    Cars found in lake may solve mysteries




    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    • Sonar discovers two vehicles containing six bodies in an Oklahoma lake
    • The discovery was an accident
    • A diver finds a shoe, then bones on the lake bottom
    • Identifying the bodies could take years, authorities say





    (CNN) -- It wasn't supposed to turn into a cold case mystery -- or possibly solve a couple, for that matter -- when Highway Patrol Trooper George Hoyle took new sonar equipment out to an Oklahoma lake on a training mission last week.
    But boy have things changed.
    The discovery of two submerged cars -- probably there for decades -- and the six bodies inside them have folks in western Oklahoma wondering whether two old mysteries can now be put aside.
    The biggest question remains unanswered. How did the cars -- which faced different directions -- come to be in the lake?
    The cars turned out to be a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro and a 1952 Chevrolet, sitting just 50 feet from a marina and 12 feet underwater.



    Custer County sheriff's deputies found the cars submerged in Foss Lake while using Oklahoma Highway Patrol sonar equipment for an unrelated purpose on Tuesday, September 17. The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office says authorities have recovered skeletal remains of multiple bodies in the Oklahoma lake where the cars were recovered.



    Investigators believe that the older of the two cars, what appears to be a 1950s-era Chevrolet, could be linked to the disappearance of a man in the early 1960s.



    Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples told KOCO on Tuesday that the other car, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, may have belonged to 16-year-old Jimmy Williams, a Sayre, Oklahoma, teenager who disappeared in 1970 with two friends: Thomas Rios and Leah Johnson, both 18.



    Tim Porter, right, talks with Beckham County Sheriff's Deputy J. Kessel, after giving a DNA sample at the scene on September 18, 2013. Porter says he believes his grandfather's remains may be in one of the cars.



    Officials examine a car at Foss Lake on September 18.



    Investigators go through the vehicles to collect evidence as well as any human remains. According the the sheriff, the cars are being searched inch by inch in a "layered manner."



    Investigators work on the older of the two vehicles. Any remains they find are placed into bags which will be delivered to the medical examiner.



    The Camaro pulled from the lake is seen after investigators have begun their work. The sheriff removed remains "one piece at a time" making an effort to "keep them together."





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    Bodies, cars found in Oklahoma lake










    Cars found in lake may be from cold cases








    Sunken cars held human remains
    Their discovery was certainly a surprise. Hoyle was testing the high-tech sonar on September 10 when he saw something he didn't expect at the bottom of Foss Lake.
    "I noticed that they were cars with this side-scan sonar," he said. "It puts off a very good image and very detailed. I knew for a fact they were cars and they were pretty close to one another."
    The cars appear to match the descriptions of the vehicles in two cases that have remained mysteries for decades.
    Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples told KOCO that one of the cars, the Camaro, may have belonged to 16-year-old Jimmy Williams, a Sayre teenager who disappeared in 1970 with two friends: Thomas Rios and Leah Johnson, both 18.
    The three teenagers went missing the night of November 20, 1970, when they went for a ride around Sayre in Williams' blue Camaro with a white top, according to the Doe Network, a volunteer organization that helps law enforcement solve cold cases.
    The three teens never returned home.
    Debbie McManaman said she believes the older car contains the remains of her grandfather, John Alva Porter.
    Porter, then 69, was traveling in a green Chevy with a sibling, Alrie Porter, and friend Nora Marie Duncan, 58, on April 8, 1969, when they all went missing, said Mike Nance, regional system administrator for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
    McManaman said she used to bring her kids out to the lake to skip rocks. She said she had no idea that the answer and the clues to her grandfather's disappearance may have been just feet away underwater
    Authorities didn't know what they had until Tuesday, when they sent down Darrell Splawn, a diver with the Highway Patrol's underwater search and recovery team.
    And even then, it was tough to know anything for certain. Visibility is only about 4 inches at the bottom of the lake. There's lots of murky muck to sift through.
    "You can't see anything," Splawn said. "You basically just go down there and feel with your hands. It's just a blind feel."
    Still, he found a shoe, so they attached a tow cable and pulled the cars out.
    "It didn't really cross my mind as to a body being in it," Splawn said. "It could have been a shoe, but whenever we brought them up to the shore ... you could see the skeletal remains in them."
    A second search by the diver found a skull and a few other bones.
    Oklahoma deputies pull bodies from lake; may date to '60s, 1970 disappearances
    Positive identification of the bodies could take years, authorities warn. They'll try to match DNA evidence if possible.
    A muddy wallet and purse could hold some clues.
    While the scientists look for answers, the troopers hope they've provided some peace of mind.
    "We are very fortunate to get to help these people and give their family closure, for they have lost loved ones," said Trooper Hoyle, who talked to the brother of one person missing for more than four decades.
    "They didn't know that they were kidnapped or how they'd become missing, but I do believe that we gave them some closure ... so that they can have some resolve and serenity in their own lives."

    Oklahoma lake bodies: Diver, trooper recount discovery - CNN.com
    Cats are really just land based sharks in fur coats. - Kittylady

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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    That's quite a story. So sad for the families that went all this time not knowing and they were right there.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Glad they finally found them all. I can see how at night you could drive right into the lake before you knew it.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    Stories like this are so amazing. I hope the victims are who they think they are so the poor families will have their answers. But then you wonder, what caused these cars to go into the lake? With three people per car, it seems at least one person could make it out. Very interesting.

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    Elite Member whitetigeress's Avatar
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    Judging from the quality of the water, I'm guessing even back then they couldn't make it out.
    I was looking at the pics to see any damage on the cars for indication of an accident. It appears both cars just drove off on their own.
    Slippery road? avoiding roadkill?

    Glad the families will finally have their closure.

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    Elite Member Kat Scorp's Avatar
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    That's so sad. I wish peace for those left behind.

    And a guard rail placed between the road and the water.

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