Car Discovered in River Believed To Be Connected To 1970s Cold Case

Car Discovered in River Believed To Be Connected To 1970s Cold Case

( – According to the Doe Network, Clarence Owens picked up his business partner, Everett Hawley, in his 1966 gold Chevy Impala to attend a political rally in February 1976. Afterward, they reportedly ate at a cafe, visited Owens’ son, and headed to a farm auction near German Valley in Illinois. That was the last time anyone saw either of the men and the case into their disappearance went cold — until now.

On March 13, CBS News reported that some fishermen using sonar in the Pecatonica River in Winnebago County recently detected what they thought might be a vehicle under the water. They called the police, who gathered multiple agencies and dive teams to assess the situation. Using a crane, they lifted a 1966 Chevy Impala out of the muddy silt — likely the same car Owens and Hawley were seen in all those years ago.

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said he wasn’t surprised to find out the car was connected to the case, stating there weren’t many cars of that make, model, and year driving in the area. Although the sheriff didn’t say there were remains in the car, someone from the coroner’s office arrived on the scene.

Later reports from the Rockford Register Star showed there were indeed two sets of skeletal remains inside the Impala. The coroner was reportedly called to the scene when a bone fell out of the car and onto the ground during the extraction.

Winnebago County Coroner Jennifer Muraski held a press conference where she said they had “over 100 skeletal remains” to examine but believes there are more in the river. Dive teams headed back out to the Pecatonica River for an additional search. Muraski said positively identifying the bones will take some time, as investigators are working with a forensic anthropologist and Owens’ and Hawley’s family members to obtain and match DNA samples.

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