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Accident may be part of disappearance: New information surfaces on 1971 disappearance of 2 S.D. girls

Posted: Saturday, Oct 19th, 2013

This undated file photo provided by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office shows a Studebaker with skeletal remains found in Brule Creek near Elk Point, S.D. Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson were last seen May 29, 1971, driving a 1960 Studebaker Lark on their way to a party. South Dakota’s attorney general says a mechanical test points away from foul play being a factor in the 1971 disappearance of two girls whose car was found last month. Marty Jackley says the 1960 Studebaker was in high gear. If it were in neutral, that would indicate foul play. AP PHOTO/SOUTH DAKOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A mechanical test points away from foul play being a factor in the 1971 disappearance of two girls whose car was found last month, but investigators will weigh other evidence before drawing a conclusion, South Dakota’s attorney general said Thursday.

The 1960 Studebaker was in third gear, the highest, Marty Jackley said.

“That evidence, standing alone, would not be consistent with foul play,” he said. “Being in neutral would be consistent with foul play.

“I think we need to be cautious and look at the entire file and all the evidence that’s been discovered.”

Jackley also said a forensic pathologist in Sioux Falls confirmed that skeletal remains found inside the car after its discovery in September are consistent with being from two different people.

The bones have been sent to the University of North Texas for identification using DNA testing, he said.

The results could help bring closure to the families and allow proper burials and also might yield further evidence, Jackley said.

Vermillion High School students Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson, both 17, were last seen in the car on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.

The car was found upside down in an embankment in Brule Creek in southeast South Dakota.

For the complete article see the 10-18-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-18-2013 paper.

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