FOSS (AP) — For more than a generation, this rural community has been haunted by a mystery: What happened to three teens who headed off to a high-school football game in the early 1970s and were never seen again?
Police believe they may finally have an answer after divers on a training exercise discovered a car containing skeletal remains in a murky lake. Divers also recovered a second vehicle containing bones, and investigators were searching Wednesday for other cold cases that might match the grim discovery.
The cars were found not far from a marina, but Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples said it was no surprise that the murky waters held a secret.
“This lake isn't crystal clear. It's a typical western Oklahoma lake with a lot of silt in it. The visibility is only 6 to 12 inches on a good day,” Peoples said. “We'll consider it a mystery until we prove otherwise.”
The sheriff said it was entirely possible that people simply drove into Foss Lake and drowned.
“We know that to happen, even if you know your way around. It can happen that quick,” he added.
The sheriff said he was confident the dive teams had found the teens because one of the cars was a Chevrolet Camaro that appeared to match the description of the vehicle the two boys and one girl were in when they vanished in 1970. The other vehicle was a Chevrolet from the early 1950s.
“We thought it was just going to be stolen vehicles, and that's not what it turned out to be, obviously,” Highway Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph said.