Three teens missing over 40 years have maybe been located

Someone alerted me to this on the Charley Project’s Facebook page: the cops in Custer County, Oklahoma have pulled two cars containing five bodies out of Foss Lake. One of those vehicles, which had three bodies inside, is believed to be Jimmy Allen Williams‘s Camaro. Jimmy and his friends, Thomas Rios and Leah Johnson, disappeared from Sayre, Oklahoma on November 29, 1970.

The investigation is still ongoing, and I’m not going to resolve these cases until they’ve officially identified the remains. But it sounds like these three high-schoolers have finally come home.


28 thoughts on “Three teens missing over 40 years have maybe been located

  1. forthelost September 17, 2013 / 6:16 pm

    I kind of expected something like that.

  2. NH September 17, 2013 / 6:31 pm

    Who are the other two?

  3. NH September 17, 2013 / 6:35 pm

    Six bodies two cars. The other one is from the 1960’s

  4. CarlK90245 September 17, 2013 / 7:52 pm

    I just sent you the link. I should have checked your blog first. You are already on top of it. LOL.

    It looks like there are 3 people in the 1950’s vintage car, and they have an idea of who two of them are, but they don’t yet know who the third one might be.

  5. Kat September 17, 2013 / 8:08 pm

    Oh, I hope so. What an answer that would be. I won’t classify it as a blessing or a wonderful thing but…..I think, if I were in this situation, I would be glad to know. As we’ve found out more and more about what happens to MPs over the years, I would rather find out a loved one was gone than that they were held or tortured or killed for ages. Thoughts to the families.

  6. Karen Klinesmith Weber September 17, 2013 / 9:46 pm

    Seeing the photo of the car here on Charly then seeing the one pulled from the lake….wow. It’s fascinating yet spooky yet mysterious.

  7. Burt September 17, 2013 / 10:57 pm

    God bless them and their families

  8. Kat September 18, 2013 / 12:46 am

    I’m doing what I condemn people for normally, not reading the story, but this has to be one of the dumbest headlines I’ve ever read. Oh, and if you all really want to be offended, check out the comments on MSN. There has been at last count, one comment on the people lost and a whole lotta mourning for the cars..and questions for info. If I wasn’t so disgusted by the whole thing I’d give em Charley info, but still….

  9. marycarney September 18, 2013 / 1:54 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I bet the overwhelming majority of ‘disappeared in a car which has never been recovered’ cases are in the water somewhere. My cousin Lenny would have been one of those, except a woman was letting her dogs out in the middle of the night and heard his car splash into the reservoir where he died. He had gotten turned around after stopping for gas on his way home from a conference- and drove down what looks like a two lane country road- but was really a boat ramp.
    A friend has launched his fishing boat in the same spot in the St. Joseph River every Thursday for 30+ years, and a couple years back they pulled a car-with-body out of the river not 20 feet from his launch spot. The woman had been missing for 10 years.

    It happens more often than we think.

  10. Julie September 18, 2013 / 3:21 am

    When I read an article about the discovery I immediately searched Charley to look up the three teens. I should’ve saved myself some time and checked your blog first. So crazy going between screens of your photos of the car and the news photos.

  11. Jaime September 18, 2013 / 7:18 am

    Why don’t u do a list of people who vanished together in a pair or group? Oklahoma would be a great place to start seems like many of their missing cases came in pairs or groups such as these. The Cynthia Britto, Lisa Kreager, and Cynthia’s mothers body was also a multiple missing person that was solved in the last couple of years out of Oklahoma. You could also do a list over siblings or friends that were presumable lay abducted by a stranger.

    • kking181 September 18, 2013 / 8:57 am

      Great idea! I second this.

  12. Crystal September 18, 2013 / 3:47 pm

    No surprise they turned up in a body of water–the surprise is they were found at all, especially after all these years.

    Hopefully they hit the water hard enough to knock themselves out and there was no time for panic to set in.

  13. Crystal September 18, 2013 / 4:08 pm

    Isn’t Lake Foss a good distance from Sayre, OK? I wonder if they were just cruising and drinking. Probably not much to do around there for three teens.

    • CarlK90245 September 18, 2013 / 10:56 pm

      It looks like the boat ramp is about 40 miles from Sayre.

  14. CarlK90245 September 19, 2013 / 7:13 pm

    Meaghan: As a follow-up to Jaime’s suggestion about making a list of persons who disappeared in a pair or group, another suggestion is a list of persons who disappeared along with their vehicle and the vehicle was never found.

    • Meaghan September 20, 2013 / 4:35 am

      I agree that it’s a worthy list topic, but I’m not sure I can do it. Most of the lists I put together by searching Charley for certain keywords. But searching for “car” would probably turn up thousands of results, then I’d have to read them all to see if the car was located or not.

      • NH September 22, 2013 / 4:17 pm

        Maybe you can search on LIC# or something similar as you would generally only more the license number if the vehicle has not been found.

  15. marycarney September 19, 2013 / 9:53 pm

    What CarlK said ^^^^^

  16. Amy White September 22, 2013 / 4:05 pm

    Wow… Just want to add that in addition to “in the water” a missing car could also end up in a “chop shop”, crushed in a car junkyard, repainted after stolen, and a few others i can think of. Also, a car in the water with a body in it could be from an intentional act to cover up criminal evidence.And I don’t think there was necessarily drinking involved with the kids. Just the fact of having young, inexperienced people who have’nt driven for very long seems like it could be a contributing factor. Well, regardless of what happened with these two tragedies , I am really glad they all for were found so now their families at least know why they never came back.

    • Kat September 22, 2013 / 11:23 pm

      Buried seems to be a big one too, though I still wonder why someone would do that.

      • NH September 23, 2013 / 1:25 pm

        The potential identities of the six discussed.

        Remains of Six Found in Two Cars on the Bottom of Foss Lake…/…
        Monday, September 23, 2013 … Each vehicle contained the skeletal remains of three people. Officers …

  17. Janessa September 23, 2013 / 5:23 pm

    I wonder who the other three are? Accidental, wrong turn or murder dumping site? I have been following the story of these three missing high school students, and I am hoping it’s them so there can be closure for their families. It’s always great to see cases these old get resolution. It’s intriguing there’s that first car in there from the 1960s-talk about a time capsule!

    • NH September 23, 2013 / 6:07 pm

      Article cited earlier names all six likely people.

  18. Samuel Barrocas January 7, 2014 / 11:25 pm

    Any news from the case? Were the bodies identified?

  19. R.A. May 3, 2014 / 3:54 am

    This is very interesting, that the vehicles were found so close together in space, yet went missing so far apart in time.

    I notice from the news images that the 1950’s vehicle does not appear to have any impact damage, but Jimmy’s Camaro is horribly mangled in the rear. I would say this indicates that the two vehicles did not end up in the water for the same reasons, even though they ended up in the water in the same place.

    The undamaged, older vehicle could have simply been driven into the water by mistake. If it was going fast enough, the drag from entering the water could have been sufficient to severely injure the occupants(especially in that pre-seatbelt, pre-airbag era), or at the least bang them up and perhaps knock them out long enough for them to drown. The impact with the water would not have damaged the car at all.
    Or they could have been murdered and their bodies rolled into the lake in their car, or something similar.

    The Camaro is more difficult. How could it have been so utterly crushed in the back end, with no damage to the front or sides, on it’s way down the ramp and into the lake? Seriously, that car is totaled. Something hit it from behind extremely hard. It almost looks like it was driven over by a tank.

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