Police pulled a rusty, mud-covered 1968 Pontiac from the bottom of a lake in North Carolina Tuesday, and it could bring a family the closure they have been seeking. Authorities believe the human remains inside the car found in Lake Rhodhiss belong to missing person Amos Shook, according to ABC News affiliate WSOC.
Shook, Air Force veteran, was reported missing on Feb. 19, 1972. Police are hoping the remains help solve the mystery of his disappearance. Authorities say the Pontiac model matches Shook’s car and the wallet inside appears to belong to him, CBS News reports.
Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones said at a news conference that they located some ID cards inside of the wallet. “It amazed us how preserved that stuff was,” Jones said.
Jones added that police believe it is him, but they are waiting for a positive identification match and autopsy from the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, according to Fox News. After nearly four decades of questions surrounding Shook’s disappearance, the autopsy report could finally “put some closure on something” the family has looking forward to for a long time, Jones said.
Police were not led to the lake after any sort of tip. They only started looking because Shook’s daughter approached investigators, holding a newspaper article, one month ago and asked them to search again.
When investigators searched the files for old information, little to nothing remained, Jones said. This is one of the oldest cases the department has worked.
It is unknown what led investigators to the lake, but when they got there, a dive team used advanced sonar to locate the car beneath 30 feet of water.
If the remains are indeed Shook, the case will be closed. Given all of the time that has passed, investigators will probably not be able to tell what happened to Shook. Nevertheless, investigators don’t suspect foul play or suicide. Hopefully the discovery will give the family some peace.
Shook was 44 when he disappeared. He had retired from the Air Force and was living in Sawmills, N.C. Caldwell County, where the car was recovered, is a rural county in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in N.C., Fox News reports.