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Posted: Jun 28 2009, 11:14 PM
Member No.: 16
Joined: 13-July 06
Leah Gail Johnson
Missing since November 20, 1970 from Sayre, Beckham County, Oklahoma
Date Of Birth: August 15, 1952
Age at Time of Disappearance: 18 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2; 142 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Native female. Dark brown hair; brown eyes.
Clothing: Purple bell bottoms; brown shirt; brown leather coat.
Circumstances of Disappearance
Leah, Jimmy Williams and Thomas Rios were last seen in Sayre, Oklahoma on the night of November 20, 1970.
Leah, Thomas and Jimmy never came home that night. Jimmy's car has never been located.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Beckham County Sheriff's Office
The Family of Jimmy Allen Williams
Posted: Jun 28 2009, 11:14 PM
Member No.: 16
Joined: 13-July 06
Posted: Sep 4 2009, 02:06 PM
Member No.: 683
Joined: 1-November 08
Cold case from Sayre comes to county
SALINA - They did not find a 1969 Chevy Camaro in Lake Hudson.
They did not find three bodies.
But the Lake Patrol Division of Oklahoma Highway Patrol had an opportunity to test the new “tow” on its “side scan sonar” last Monday during investigation of a 39-year-old “cold case” out of Beckham County, which is in far western Oklahoma (not Panhandle).
The new “tow” attachment to the side scan sonar enables OHP to search a 70- to 80-foot range instead of a 30- to 40-foot range, according to Captain Mike Mize.
Jimmy Williams, 16, Leah Johnson, 17, and Thomas Michael Rios, 18 - all students at Sayre High School — disappeared on Friday night, Nov. 20, 1970.
“They were last seen in downtown Sayre,” said Gary Williams, younger brother of Jimmy — and 12 years old at the time of the disappearance of the Caucasian male, Indian female and Mexican male.
“Jimmy’s Social Security number has never been used since that time and the vehicle identification number has never turned up,” said Williams.
Williams recently contacted Capt. Mize about the cold case, and OHP agreed that when the bulk of the boating season came to a close this year they would conduct a search on Lake Hudson.
The two OHP officers arrived last Monday and Grand River Dam Authority lake patrol officers came along to view the operation and the equipment that GRDA may be purchasing in the near future.
“Our guys gave it a full day, but they didn’t find any vehicles,” said Capt. Mize. “And that’s unusual. Usually, when we go out on drownings we find a car nearly every time.”
Capt. Mize said the geography and topography of Lake Hudson has changed in nearly four decades, but the officers searched near the edges and bluffs and bridges.
“We didn’t find anything, but our guys got a chance to work with the new tow and GRDA lake patrol had an opportunity to see how the equipment operates,” said Capt. Mize.
Why Lake Hudson when Sayre is on the other side of Oklahoma?
Anonymous information with a hint of truth was obtained suggesting that the vehicle may be found in the river in the Markham Ferry vicinity, and Markham Ferry is the way people used to make passage from one side of Lake Hudson to the other before bridges.
Williams also was told one day about five months ago that his brother’s disappearance came up in internet conversation on a site known as “Topics.”
Williams checked out the web site and, since that time, there have been 4,500 posts on the disappearance of the three Sayre teens - almost 40 years ago.
“There’s lots of misinformation in there and everyone has a theory about what happened,” said Williams, who noted that the Sayre newspaper did one story about the missing teens 39 years ago and the Daily Oklahoman did a follow-up 14 months later. And he said that has been the entirety of the media coverage of this case.
“It didn’t bother me all that much because at least people were talking about it and that puts it on the forefront.
“With people talking about it, the kids aren’t forgotten - and I think somebody out there knows something,” said Williams.
Williams is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the blue Camaro with white top. The VIN number is #124379L517123 and the tag number on the vehicle was BK 3610.
“If we find the car the dominoes may start to fall,” said Williams.
Anyone with information to share should do so with Beckham County Undersheriff Mike Bagziz at 1-580-928-8952.
Posted: Sep 17 2013, 10:05 PM
Member No.: 683
Joined: 1-November 08
Cold, wet cases: Oklahoma troopers stumble on six bodies in two cars at bottom of lake
By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News
Two decades-old cars containing six skeletons were recovered from a lake in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Oklahoma, officials said Tuesday — potentially solving a pair of cold cases that have bedeviled local authorities for years.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials stumbled upon the mud-covered cars — a blue 1969 Chevrolet Camaro and a 1950s-era car — while testing new sonar equipment during a training exercise last week at Foss Lake, near the tiny town of Foss (population: 157) in Custer County, authorities said.
After initially having reported that five bodies were discovered, Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples told The Elk City Daily News late Tuesday that a sixth set of remains had been found.
Officials at the scene were able to identify one of the three bodies in the Camaro, but no names will be released until family members are notified, the State Bureau of Investigation and the sheriff's office said.
State troopers discovered the two cars Tuesday as they were training with new sonar equipment.
Trooper George Hoyle, who was driving the boat that located the vehicles Sept. 10, told the Daily News that the two cars were side by side in about 12 feet of water.
"On the first pass, we found both cars," Hoyle said — but officers weren't aware of the remains, and the cars remained at the bottom of the lake until Tuesday.
The Camaro is believed to be associated with the disappearance of three students at Sayre High School: Jimmy Allen Williams 16, Thomas Michael Rios, 18, and Leah Gail Johnson 18. They were last seen on Nov. 20, 1970, in Jimmy's car — a blue 1969 Camaro, which was never found, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a bureau of the Justice Department's National Institute of Justice.
The federal database notes speculation at the time that the teens, who'd said they were going to a football game in Elk City, may have detoured to go hunting at Foss Lake, instead.
The second vehicle appears to be associated with the disappearance of a couple last seen in Canute, about 10 miles south of the lake, in the early 1960s, Peoples said. He said he had no further information about that case beyond long-ago-told stories. The missing persons database records no open cases earlier than 1969 in Canute or the surrounding county.
"In 1973, I worked for Beckham and Custer County as a state trooper, and I heard rumors that sometime in the early '60s there were two or three people in a car, and they were last seen in Canute," Peoples told the Elk City newspaper. "They were headed for Foss Lake and never seen again."
Peoples asked anyone with information about the case to get in touch as soon as possible at (580) 323-1616.
Posted: Sep 19 2013, 08:09 AM
Member No.: 502
Joined: 8-August 08
Teens missing over 40 years found at bottom of lake
September 17, 2013
During a training session with new sonar equipment the Custer County Sheriff's Department in Oklahoma came across skeletal remains in two different cars in Foss Lake on Tuesday. Foss Lake is located between Elk City and Clinton, Okla.
A 1969 Chevrolet Camaro was found with three remains that are believed to be the bodies of Jimmy Allen Williams, 16, Leah Gail Johnson, 18, and Thomas Michael Rios, 18.
“In 1973, I worked for Beckham and Custer County as a state trooper, and I heard rumors that sometime in the early 60s there were two or three people in a car, and they were last seen in Canute,” Sheriff Bruce Peoples told the Elk City Daily News. “They were headed for Foss Lake and never seen again.”
On Nov. 20, 1970, Jimmy Williams, who had a part time job at Harman's Seventh Street Grocery Store left his home in his Camaro that he had just bought six days earlier. He had told his parents he was going to a football game, but instead he backed his car up to the back door and loaded up some shotguns in the trunk with the help of one of his younger brother's.
From an account from one of Jimmy's friends, Wayne, Jimmy was actually going to go shooting with his friends Leah and Tom. Wayne was going to go to, but changed his mind because there was not enough room in the Camaro. The three never returned home.
The other car found that was from the 1950's had three skeletal remains in it. Peoples said he believed that the remains may belong to a couple that went missing in the early 1960s, although he was not sure who the third person was.
The cars were found at the far south tip of the lake by the boat ramp by the marina about 12-feet down on Sept. 10, but authorities didn't realize there were body's in the cars until today when the cars were pulled out of the water.
Becky Jones posted that Jimmy William's aunt was married to her grandfather.
"Not only did she suffer her own loss of her nephew, but she watched her sister suffer the loss of her son. Both passed away not knowing what happened to Jimmy."
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying who the other car may belong to that was found in the lake.
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