Human remains found in car after 43 years

The 1968 Pontiac Catalin owned by missing veteran Amos Shook was pulled from Lake Rhodhiss in North Carolina this week, 43 years after he disappeared. (YouTube)

Investigators following up on leads going back 43 years have found human remains in a 1968 Pontiac recovered from a lake in North Carolina.

Caldwell County sheriff's investigators said on Wednesday that the car model matches the car belonging to 44-year-old Amos Shook, who was reported missing on February 19, 1972.

Sheriff's Lt. Aaron Barlowe said the remains will go to the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy and identification. He said there were no signs of foul play. Barlowe would not say what led investigators to the lake, but noted that a dive team used advanced sonar to find the car in 30 feet of water.

"They probably dragged that lake back then looking for him, but now we have sonar," Caldwell County Sheriff's Capt. B.J. Fore said. "We were able to identify what we believed to be a car at the bottom. It was his car."

The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday that the search for Shook, who had retired from the US Air Force, was resumed after decades when his daughter approached Sheriff Alan Jones and investigators last month with a newspaper article about her missing father and asked them to search again. The report did not say whether the daughter specifically asked investigators to search the lake.

Lake Rhodhiss, where the car and remains were found, is approximately 75 miles northwest of Charlotte.

Caldwell County is a mainly rural county in the North Carolina foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The county's website says the first modern furniture factories were organized there in 1889. Today, in addition to furniture manufacturing, the county is home to a Google data center as officials attempt to integrate technology and information-based companies into the local economy.

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