Neighbors shocked by discovery of car in 1971 missing girls case - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors shocked by discovery of car in 1971 missing teenage girls case

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A major development Monday in a 42-year-old cold case.

Investigators say the car driven by Cheryl Miller and Pamela Jackson on the night of their 1971 disappearance has been found in Union County.

The 17-year-olds from Vermillion vanished while on the way to a party at a gravel pit near Beresford.

The case has been reopened multiple times over the decades, including in 2004, when the state's newly formed cold case unit searched a farm in rural union county, two miles from the gravel pit.

Monday night, the search focuseD on Brule Creek where a fisherman spotted an overturned 1960 Studebaker lark this morning.

The crew has called off recovery efforts for the night.

Law enforcement on the scene tells us they will head back out to the creek tomorrow morning to make another attempt to remove the car.

I spoke with one neighbor who tells me she drives across the bridge next to where the girls' car was found, and she says it's hard to believe it's been there all along.

The discovery of the missing girls' car could be the break police and family members have been waiting for more than 40 years.

Neighbor Amy Haneklaus said "I think it's great that they'll possibly finally get some closure and that it can take away a lot of the question about what happened back then, hopefully, and that it is just an accident, tragically."

Haneklaus lives across from Brule Creek where crews attempt to recover the car, the girls were last seen driving, back in may of 1971.

"It's a little surreal, honestly, just to even believe it's all happening, right outside our door and that possibly they could have been there all this time. It's so unbelievable," Haneklaus said.

And law enforcement tell us they will stay here as long as it takes to recover the car and bring closure to the family.

"I thought it might go a little quicker, that they might just be able to bring the car up but it seems like they're having some issues with that and it's going a little slower than I anticipated," Haneklaus said.

But finding the car may bring more questions than answers.

"I can't imagine what its like to get that phone call that says we found the car but I'm sure it brings a little peace to their minds," Haneklaus said.

One officer on the scene told me removing the car from the creek could take days.

He said they will stay there as long as it takes to recover the car and bring some closure to the families.

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