Bones Found Near 1969 Dodge Pulled Out From Florida Canal

Jan 24, 2015 08:00 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

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A second search of the Florida canal where a 1969 Dodge was discovered earlier this week has led to the discovery of human remains at the scene.

The vehicle was found by a utility worker on Wednesday and pulled out of the water by Sunrise Police Department. Once they ran the vehicle's identification number they determined it was registered to a Harry Wade Atchison III, a 19-year-old who disappeared with 15-year-old Dana Null, who was believed to be his girlfriend, back on Oct. 7, 1978.

"I couldn't even recognize it was a vehicle by anything other than its tires," Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said on Friday, according to Reuters.

A dive team has recovered bones from the scene, though they need to be tested by a medical examiner before any DNA matches can be confirmed. Atchison's sister, Donna Amaya, said to ABC News that investigators told her the bones were from the lower half of a person's body, but was not given any more details.

"When I first got the call, I was kind of stunned, I guess you could say," Amaya said of when she learned that her brother's car was found at the bottom of a canal. "Afterwards, in letting the extended family know about it, it finally sunk in."

The couple had attended a rock concert the night they disappeared, according to investigators in a 1995 Sun Sentinel article.

Once the show ended, the two went back to Atchison's trailer where they got into a fight. Atchison tried to drive off in the Dodge, but Null stopped him and got into the car. They were never seen again.

The case was reopened nearly 20 years ago, but police failed to find any clues as to where the couple could be, according to the Sun Sentinel article.

Both Null's and Atchison's parents are deceased now, though each has a surviving sister in Florida.

"Detectives contacted the family and have been focused on the recovery and trying to find any remains," Coleman-Wright said.

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