Car Accident Killed SD Girls Missing Since '71
by KDLT News
April 15, 2014 11:07 AM
Authorities say two South Dakota girls missing since 1971 died after driving into a creek on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.
State and local officials held a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Elk Point confirming that evidence inside a 1960 Studebaker found last fall included the remains of Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson.
The authorities also showed dozens of photographs of the Vermillion girls' clothing, a purse and Miller's relatively well-preserved driver's license.
The attorney general says people who saw the girls before they disappeared and other evidence indicates they had not been drinking. And mechanical tests on the car point away from foul play because it was in high gear.
“It's consistent with a car accident. To start with the forensic pathology and anthropology reports indicate that there is no type of injury that would be consistent or caused by foul play or inappropriate conduct,” said South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.
All that remains at the rural bridge is a slow moving creek underneath and flowers on a barbed wire fence.
If it weren't for an observant fisherman and some South Dakota weather, the old car could still lay unnoticed.
“Those conditions were a very wet spring followed by some change in the current in Brule Creek, coupled with the drought,” said Jackley.
What appears to be a car accident, stumped investigators for nearly 43 years.