Sisters relieved by car discovery in SD cold caseThe Associated Press | September 26,2013AP PHOTO
A Studebaker with skeletal remains was found in Brule Creek near Elk Point, S.D., recently. Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson were last seen May 29, 1971, driving a 1960 Studebaker Lark on their way to a party. Authorities this week pulled a rusted Studebaker, including a hubcap and a license plate matching the car once owned by Miller’s grandfather, and are conducting an autopsy on the remains and processing other evidence.WATERTOWN, S.D. — Sisters of one of two 17-year-old girls who disappeared in South Dakota in 1971 say the discovery of a car with skeletal remains has stirred up many emotions, including relief.
Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson were last seen May 29, 1971, driving a 1960 Studebaker Lark on their way to a party. Authorities this week pulled a rusted Studebaker from an embankment in Brule Creek near Elk Point — including a hubcap and a license plate matching the car once owned by Miller’s grandfather — and are conducting an autopsy on the remains and processing other evidence.
“Very overwhelming,” Rita Allen, Miller’s sister, told KELO-TV. “You go through your life from then until now and the biggest wish from our mother was never give up, never give up.”
“And no one ever has,” said Dawn Hewlett, another sister. Both women live in Watertown.
The old car was discovered and reported to authorities by an angler who came across it and remembered the 42-year-old case.
The bridge near where the vehicle was found had been inspected every two years for at least two decades, the Argus Leader reported. The creek otherwise sees little traffic at that site, according to Union County Public Works Superintendent Ray Roggow. Attorney General Marty Jackley said record flooding followed by a drought brought the vehicle into view.
Allen and Hewlett said they are grateful for the development and will wait to see what answers they get. They are not setting any expectations.
“We will wait, you know, for more information as it comes and deal with that piece by piece and deal with that as we have dealt with this through the years, piece by piece,” Allen said.
The Vermillion High School juniors’ disappearance was one of the first cases that the state’s cold case unit took on after it was formed in 2004. A search that September of a Union County farm turned up bones, clothing, a purse, photographs, newspaper articles and other items. Authorities have never said if the bones were the girls’.
At one point, prosecutors filed murder charges in the case against David Lykken, who lived at the farm in 1971 and is serving an unrelated 227-year prison sentence for rape and kidnapping. The charges later were dropped when authorities discovered a prison snitch made up a supposed admission.
The discovery of the car could bring relief to the Lykken family as well, Richard Stene, a friend and neighbor of the family, told KELO.
“I’m glad they found it. If the girls’ bodies are in the car, it will sure be a relief to the families and especially the Lykkens,” Stene said.MORE IN Wire NewsDAKAR, Senegal — A university student infected with Ebola evaded health surveillance for weeks as... Full StoryNOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine — Their tanks bearing the flag of their would-be state, Russian-backed... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Scientists call for more research on the temporal and lasting effects of nuclear fallout on plants and animals in proximity to Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station where changes at the molecular level were found.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 410 CE, Visigoths sack Rome and it isn't the first time, either; in 1859, Titusville, Pa., the first commercially viable oil well comes in; in 1918, the only World War I battle fought on U.S. soil in Nogales, Ariz.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Archaelogists uncover artifacts proving that late neolithic Egyptians, pre-dating the Pyramids of Giza, practiced mummification to prepare their dead for the afterlife, far earlier than presupposed.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE:Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing that pollute ground water and the air we breathe come under scrutiny by researchers who find at least eight fracking chemicals toxic to mammals.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: The craze for Omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplement in its most popular form, fish oil, has led to depletion of fish stocks in oceans throughout the world. Is this the beginning of the total collapse of global fisheries?
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Suspects arrested in Killington bear death, Bryanna Allen and Kevin O'Connor report along the Back to School front, Rutland Plywood site remains an active fire scene as debris continues to smolder.