Investigators Work To ID Foss Lake Skeletons

Tuesday, September 17th 2013, 10:37 pm
By: News 9

Investigators in Custer County work to identify the skeletal remains of six people found in Foss Lake Tuesday.

The remains were found in cars discovered during an OHP sonar training exercise. The victims were found in two cars. Deputies believe they were under water for 40 to 50 years.

9/17/2013 Related Story: Two Cars Containing Skeletal Remains Pulled From Lake In Custer County

"The decomposed nature of the cars makes it difficult to positively identify here at the scene," Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples said.

But the sheriff also says he believes the bodies -- in what was a brand new Camaro -- were three teens who went missing in 1970.

"I just remember how devastated everybody was," friend Kim Carmichael said. "We lived in a little town ... Nothing like that ever happened in Sayre."

Carmichael was a friend of the car owner, 16-year-old Jimmy Williams. Her dad was the undersheriff in nearby Beckham County where the teens were last seen.

"He said there was nothing ... There were no leads, no nothing," said Carmichael. "He said it was just like they vanished into thin air."

Eighteen-year-olds Michael Rios and Leah Johnson were also in the car. Carmichael's dad died in 2003 never knowing what happened.

"I can't imagine what [Williams'] family was going through if I could see what my dad was going through," Carmichael said.

The State Medical Examiner is expected to use DNA from surviving family members to positively identify the skeletons.

Currently, it is unknown if foul play was involved.

Deputies believe the remains found in the second car, a 1950 model Chevy, belong to three people from Washita County, who went missing in the early 1960s.

The cars were still on the lakeshore late Tuesday, forcing the marina at Foss Lake to remain closed.