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Medical Examiner: Positive ID on Foss Lake bodies could take days, years

ELK CITY, Okla.- After the bodies of six people were discovered inside two vehicles at Foss Lake Tuesday, many people in the community are waiting for positive identification of the victims.

A 1969 Camaro and a 1950′s Chevy were discovered at the lake when officials were testing new sonar equipment on Tuesday afternoon.

The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner will now be tasked with positively identifying the remains.

The medical examiner says it could take anywhere from days to years to determine an identity, depending on the preservation of the bodies.

While positive identification has not been made yet, investigators believe both vehicles are related to two separate cold cases.

The Camaro may have belonged to 16-year-old Jimmy Allen Williams, who was last seen driving with two friends, 18-year-old Thomas Rios and 18-year-old Leah Johnson.

The three teens disappeared on Nov. 20, 1970 and have not been heard from since.

Authorities with the Custer County Sheriff’s Office have already contacted the three teenagers’ families, alerting them to the discovery in Foss Lake.

The Chevy may be linked to an older cold case from 1969 where three people went missing from Canute.

Hear from people who believe their relatives have finally been found.

Debbie McManamman thinks her grandfather, 69-year-old John Alva Porter, was in the Chevy.

“I mean, he was just gone, ” she said. “No trace at all. His money was in the bank, his house was intact and he was gone. So over 40 years we’ve been looking for him.”

Click here for reaction from the community.

Albert Porter was 10-years-old the last time he saw his grandpa, John “Alvie” Porter. He now believes he is one of the six bodies recovered from Foss Lake.

Porter said that while it is unusual that both cars ended up in the lake together, he remembers the car his grandpa disappeared in was always having problems and believes it may have been a tragic accident.

“They had to push start that car many, many times to start it,” Porter said.

Family members in Sayre, Oklahoma, comment on the cars found at Foss Lake and several of them gave DNA samples to help investigators determine the identities of the remains found in the vehicles.

Alvie Porter’s great grandson posted this comment:
My great Grandpa, Alvie Porter, went missing back in 1969, he was 69-years-old. I remember my Grandpa putting up signs, asking people in town if anyone had seen his dad. Today, nearly 60 years later the car he was last seen driving was recovered from Foss Lake in SW Oklahoma along with two other people he was last seen with and another car containing three kids who went missing in a different car in 1970. I swam in the spot as a kid, as a teenager and just recently took my kids to feed the ducks near place where he was recovered.

The Custer County Sheriff is asking anyone with information call (580) 323-1616.