UK & World News

  • 16 April 2014, 18:39

Mystery Solved 43 Years After Girls Vanished

More than four decades after two teenage girls went missing in South Dakota, officials have finally solved the mystery.

Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson, both 17, disappeared on May 29, 1971, while on their way to a party.

Officials now say they died after driving into a creek near Elk Point, a small town in South Dakota.

Their car, a 1960 Studebaker, had been hidden for almost 43 years in the creek and finally resurfaced because of a drought.

The vehicle was found last September but the results of the forensic testing of the skeletal remains were only announced this week.

The investigators showed dozens of photographs of well-preserved clothing, Miss Miller's purse and even her driver's license complete with a photograph.

Those personal items and DNA were used to identify the girls, Attorney General Marty Jackley said.

"It's consistent with a car accident," he said.

"To start with, the forensic pathology and anthropology reports indicate there's no type of injury that would be consistent with or caused by foul play or inappropriate conduct."

Following the girls' disappearance, family members, law enforcement and others searched the area countless times without luck.

Miss Jackson's father, Oscar, died on September 18, just five days before the car was found.

The girls' remains will be returned to family members for burial.

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