A pair of cars were pulled from Foss Lake in Oklahoma, with the remains of 6 bodies being discovered inside the gristly find. Although the 2 vehicles were originally discovered and pulled from the water’s murky depths back in 2013, it was only this week that investigators have been able to use DNA evidence to help identify the missing people. News 9 shares the breaking details that have been brought to the surface this Thursday, October 23, 2014.
The 2 cars salvaged alongside the Foss Lake remains have remained shrouded in mystery for the past year, but science is now being used to help unravel the enigma. Inside the vehicles are the decomposed bodies of six people who are believed to have gone missing in late 1969 and 1970. DNA studies are being conducted to help identify the victims.
The finding of these underwater cars covered in rust and their gruesome contents came as a shock to divers who stumbled upon them while swimming in Foss Lake 13 months ago. Oklahoma police officials who helped bring the vehicles to the surface soon discovered that the remains of 6 humans were trapped within. Now, the State Medical Examiner’s Office has released documents stating that the identities of all individuals have been confirmed using modern DNA technology. The cause of death in this tragic discovery? The examiner’s findings announced that all 6 victims died by drowning.
News Max elaborates that one of the 2 cars submerged in the murky depths of the lake was a green Chevrolet dating back to 1952. The remains of three teens were found inside: Thomas Michael Rios, Leah Gail Johnson, and Jimmy Allen Williams (all aged between 16 and 18). The young men and woman were all natives of Sayre, Oklahoma, and were officially reported missing in the area in 1970.
The other three Foss Lake remains has also been revealed. A blue 1969 Chevy Camaro held the bodies of three older adults, who have been identified as Nora Marie Duncan, Cleburne Hammack, and John Alva Porter (with ages ranging from 42 to 69). These drowning victims were reported missing a year earlier, in 1969, and were also of the local Oklahoma area.
All of the puzzle pieces haven’t come together quite yet, however, as investigators are still looking at new clues that the DNA evidence has brought forward. Regarding the missing three teens, the Chevrolet was purchased by Jimmy Williams less than a week before the trio vanished. According to family reports, the friends were planning on going to a school football game, but state authorities were surprised to find a pair of rifles within the car instead, suggesting that they might have been considering going hunting.
The conditions surrounding the missing adults is even trickier, with one witness statement mentioning several decades ago that the last sight of the three was helping to push their car because the Camaro was having difficulties starting. Shortly after the remains and cars were discovered in Foss Lake back in 2013, media outlets did confirm that alcohol bottles were present in not just one vehicle, but both.
One of the teenager’s brothers was recently able to get a close look at the car following its recovery from depths to verify that it was indeed Jimmy Williams’ Chevrolet. Yet a chilling wrench thrown into the mystery is that he noticed the gearshift in the car appeared to be in neutral. As a result, the brother is not convinced that accidental drowning may be the sole cause of the deaths, and some form of foul play might have been involved.
The investigation into the lake remains as well as the peculiar circumstances surrounding these 6 newly identified bodies is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the event is asked to contact the Custer County Police Department as soon as possible.