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DNA Solves Foss Lake Mystery

DNA confirms the identities of six bodies found in Oklahoma’s Foss Lake last year, solving decades-old missing persons cases.
DNA confirms the identities of six bodies found in Oklahoma's Foss Lake

In 2013, while testing sonar equipment in Oklahoma’s murky Foss Lake, Police discovered two cars rusting side by side at the bottom of the lake. When the cars were brought to the surface, three sets of human remains were found in each car.

The cars, a blue 1969 Camaro and a 1952 Chevrolet, were immediately believed to be part of two 40-year-old missing persons cases. According to officials, DNA has confirmed the identity of bodies found in Foss Lake to be those of six persons who went missing in 1969 and 1970.

Teenagers Jimmy Allen Williams, Leah Gail Johnson and Thomas Michael Rios were last seen heading for a football game in the Camaro Williams had just bought six days earlier. The other car contained the remains of an older group. John Alva Porter, Cleburn Hammack and Nora Marie Duncan were last seen near Foss Lake when they were “given a push” to help get their car started in 1969.

Examinations of the cars indicated the engines had been running when they entered the water. Autopsies of the remains revealed the cause of death for all six passengers to be drowning.

The deaths have been ruled accidental.

via CNN

Remains of Six Found in Cars at Bottom of Lake in Oklahoma

The skeletal remains of six bodies in two cars that were last seen over 40 years ago have been found at the bottom of a lake in Oklahoma.
Cars found at the bottom of Foss Lake in Custer County, Oklahoma with the skeletal remains of six missing persons

Oklahoma troopers found the cars decaying side by side in about 12 feet of water during a training exercise with new sonar equipment on September 10. When they were pulled from the lake, bones were found in each – the remains of three people in each car. A human skull was floating in the water.

The discovery may potentially solve two decades-old missing persons cases.

One of the cars, a blue 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, is believed to be associated with the disappearance of three high school students from the small town of Sayre, OK. They were last seen on Nov. 20, 1970 heading to a football game in Elk City. The investigation at the time noted speculation that they may have detoured to go hunting at Foss Lake, instead.

The case never had a lead.

1950s car found in Foss Lake with the skeletal remains of three bodies insideThe second car is a 1950s-era Chevrolet that may be associated with an old story about a couple or group of three who disappeared in the early 1960s. They were last seen ten miles south of the area in Canute, on their way to Foss Lake.

The missing persons database does not record open cases earlier than 1969, so the local legend is all they have to go on at this point.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone with any information to contact them immediately at (580) 323-1616.

Update 10/27/14: DNA Solves Foss Lake Bodies Mystery