Questions remain after discovery of bodies in Foss Lake

The brother of an Oklahoma teen who went missing in 1970 is raising questions about a 1969 Camaro pulled from Foss Lake, which he thinks is his brother's car. But the investigation is on hold at this point.
by Juliana Keeping Published: October 27, 2013
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The brother of a teenager who went missing 43 years ago has questions about a 1969 Camaro found in September in Foss Lake, but getting answers could be difficult.

The investigation is on hold while the state medical examiner works to identify the remains. That could take a year or longer.

Jimmy Williams, 16, and his friends, Thomas Michael Rios and Leah Gail Johnson, were last seen Nov. 20, 1970, in Sayre in a blue 1969 Camaro.

The Camaro pulled from the lake had the remains of three people inside. The state medical examiner has yet to identify the skeletal remains, but has reported there were two males and one female in the car.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers testing new sonar equipment discovered two cars — a blue 1969 Camaro and a green 1952 Chevrolet — Sept. 17 in Foss Lake. The cars were found in 12 feet of water about 50 feet from the end of a boat ramp. The remains of three people were inside each car.

Trooper Betsy Randolph said alcohol containers also were found in both cars.

Authorities think the 1952 Chevrolet is linked to an incident of three adults reported missing out of Canute in 1969. The state medical examiner reported the remains inside the 1952 Chevrolet were two males and a female.

An initial examination of the Camaro indicated the driver apparently downshifted into a low gear as the car went into Foss Lake decades ago, trooper George Hoyle said in September. Hoyle, a trooper with the highway patrol's marine division, found the cars while testing the sonar equipment.

Gary Williams — who was 12 when his brother disappeared and still lives in Sayre — said Hoyle allowed him on Sept. 26 to inspect the Camaro, which Williams believes is his missing brother's car.

He said the car was in neutral, not first gear. Williams, who works on an oil rig, said he took pictures and showed the mechanic who examined the car for the highway patrol diagrams of the vehicle. The mechanic declined to comment for this story.

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by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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