Fisherman Finds Car of Girls Missing Since 1971

South Dakota teens were last seen in Studebaker

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 24, 2013 3:09 AM CDT | Updated Sep 24, 2013 6:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – A breakthrough in a case that has baffled South Dakota police for 42 years: The car that two girls missing since 1971 were last seen in has been found in a creek, the Argus Leader reports. Pam Jackson and Sherri Miller, both 17, were in the 1960 Studebaker Lark when they disappeared on their way to a party. A fisherman who remembered the case called the police when he spotted the overturned car in the creek, exposed by record low water levels. Officials have declined to comment on whether any remains were found in the car, which was too damaged to be removed from the creek without destroying potential evidence.

A man serving time for an unrelated crime was indicted in 2007 for murder, rape, and kidnapping in the girls' deaths, but the charges were dismissed after prosecutors found that a confession allegedly made to a fellow inmate was faked. Jackson's three siblings learned of the breakthrough just three days after they buried their father, Oscar, who died last week at the age of 102. "It’s like when Oscar got to heaven, he told them to reveal the information" on what happened to Pam, her brother-in-law says. (It's not the only car tied to a cold case to be found this month.)

Crews work to excavate a vehicle from an embankment near Beresford, South Dakota, yesterday.
Crews work to excavate a vehicle from an embankment near Beresford, South Dakota, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Joe Ahlquist)
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