null Skip to Main Content
Fishermen Using Sonar Equipment Find Vehicle Missing for 50 Years in Illinois River

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Fishermen Using Sonar Equipment Find Vehicle Missing for 50 Years in Illinois River

Posted 2024-04-03  by  Stephanie Mallory

So far, the skeletal remains of two people have been found

Anglers using sonar equipment to fish an Illinois river found a vehicle that is connected to the 1976 disappearance of two men.

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said at a news conference that the anglers located the gold 1966 Chevrolet Impala approximately 8 to 10 feet beneath the surface of the Pecatonica River. The vehicle, along with Clarence Owens, 65, and Everette Hawley, 75, disappeared on February 19, 1976.

According to NBC News, the men and the vehicle were last seen at a farm auction near the Winnebago-Ogle county line.

Caruna said the fishermen were using sonar equipment to pinpoint the best fishing location when they came across what they believed was a car.

A dive team then went out to the river, where they retrieved the vehicle, as well as human skeletal remains and personal items.

Jennifer Muraski, the Winnebago County coroner, said that a bone was located inside the vehicle and that several other bones were found along the riverbank.

"What we do have right now is what looks to be human skeletal remains of two individuals. We do not know if these individuals are female or male at this point. We are in the infancy stages of the investigation as far as who this might be," she said.

More than 100 skeletal remains have been found so far. Muraski said once the office has retrieved all the remains that can be recovered, it will work with a forensic anthropologist and the family to "see if there’s any injury to these skeletal remains."

"Can we tell the story of what might have happened to them via their remains?" she said. "And also DNA — who are they?”

Caruana said investigators are "working on no foul play because there’s many theories here that we can go on."

"At this time, we're still working on that it's a missing person's report, a missing person's case," he said. "But I will ask the public to give us some tips."

Exit off-canvas