Sheriffs' deputies who were testing a new sonar device on a lake in western Oklahoma's Custer County have come across two grim discoveries that may help solve two cold cases from decades ago.
The local Elk City Daily News says the "practice run for new sonar technology at Foss Lake became a recovery effort after officials discovered two vehicles submerged near the marina — with human remains inside."
It was Sept. 10, the newspaper says, when sonar detected "two cars side by side in about 12 feet of water."
"At first," adds the Daily News, "officers weren't aware of the remains" inside.
But when the vehicles were pulled from the lake Tuesday, three bodies were found inside a car matching the description of a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro last seen in 1970 with three local teenagers inside.
The other car, with two or possibly three sets of remains in it, appears to be a 1950s Chevy similar to one last seen being driven by a local couple in the early 1960s.
Authorities are working on identifying the remains.
How the cars and the people inside ended up in the lake, particularly "side by side," as the Daily News put it, remains a mystery. Some family members of the long-missing persons tell Oklahoma Cilty's KFOR-TV that at the very least, they may now have some clues about what happened to their loved ones.