The South Dakota Mystery

13 Jun by Nancy Park

The South Dakota Mystery

One of the longest mysteries in South Dakota has finally been solved. In 1971, two teenage girls aged disappeared while on the road to a party held at 1960 Studebaker. Cheryl Miller and Pamela Jackson neither got to the party nor did they get home according to records made investigators to the case. However, in a miraculous recovery, the last piece to the mystery has been found after the car they were traveling in that fateful night was found overturned in the South Dakota Creek in the fall of 2013. The discovery of the bodies and the wreckage was found thanks to a sportsman who during his workouts found the car in September 2013 in Brule Creek which is in the rural of Union County which is approximately 50 miles South of Sioux Falls.

Remains retrieved

broken car

According to the authorities, the remains retrieved were positioned at the driver’s and passenger’s seats respectively. In an interesting twist of fate, the remains were tested and confirmed to belong to the two missing girls.  Additionally, the tests made to the wrecked car indicated that their demise was as a result of a car crash. “There was no proof of foul play or inappropriate conduct suspected,” said Marty Jackley, South Dakota’s Attorney while addressing a news conference.  The car was engaged in third gear, and the lights were on when the accident occurred which lead to the conclusion that the two teenage girls perished in the crash. Moreover, additional evidence indicated that a tire might have blown however no traces of alcohol had been identified.


May 29, 1971, was the fateful day of the crash and events unfolded after an evening hospital visit to Miller’s grandmother who was bedridden. After which Cheryl and Pamela meet up with three boys within a church’s parking lot before setting off towards a nearby party with the boys leading the way followed by the girls. Along the way, the girls vanished without trace till their discovery in the fall of 2013 which had been proceeded by a wet spring, drought conditions and significant changes in the water currents exposing the wrecked car in the Brule Creek near the bridge.


damaged car

The disappearance of the two girls had previously been investigated as a criminal case. A State investigation team had been allocated the case to which they didn’t come to any meaningful conclusion. However, an imprisoned rapist had been charged with the murder and the disappearance of the girls. However, the evidence provided in the case was insufficient, and the case had to be dropped in 2008.