Society

Bones Found In Canal With Car Linked To 1978 Missing Teens Case (Video)

| by Kathryn Schroeder

The remains of two teenagers who went missing 36 years ago are believed to have been found in a Sunrise, Florida, canal.

A South Florida Water Management District employee discovered the car, an orange 1969 Dodge sedan, that Dana Null, then 15, and Harry Wade Atchison III, then 19, were last seen in during routine canal maintenance on Wednesday, according to Veda Coleman-Wright, a Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Parts of the car were recovered from the canal and police ran the vehicle identification numbers on the car’s windshield. It was a match for the 1978 missing persons case, reports Sun-Sentinel.

After further searching by a dive team, bones were pulled from the water.

The bones are currently in the custody of the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office. They need to be tested before any DNA matches can be confirmed.

Atchison’s sister, Donna Amaya, told ABC News that the bones were from the lower part of a person’s body, “like a femur,” according to an investigator, but she was not given any further information.

For Amaya, the discovery of her brother’s car finally made her believe he was dead, and the discovery of bones mean “it’s a whole different ballgame.”

"When I first got the call, I was kind of stunned, I guess you could say," Amaya said. “Afterwards, in letting the extended family know about it, it finally sunk in."

Null and Atchison went missing after attending a concert. Reports said it was a Foreigner concert, but Amaya says it was, in fact, a Journey concert because they have the ticket stubs.

After the concert, Atchison reportedly had friends over to his house since his parents were out of town visiting Amaya in New York.

It is unclear what the relationship between Null and Atchison was, but they did live in the same mobile home park.

"I don't know if they met through friends or through schools even though they went to different schools but they lived in the same neighborhood," Amaya said.

It is believed the two had an argument and it led to them leaving together in the car.

"Wade and Dana got into an argument and my brother jumped into the car to blow off steam and she ended up jumping in the car with him," Amaya said.

What happened next is unknown.

A missing person’s report was filed for Null, but Atchison’s parents were unable to file one as he was not a minor. The police turned them away when they tried.

Atchison’s mother, who is now deceased along with his father, never gave up hope that her son was still alive.

"My mom never gave up hope that Wade was still alive," Amaya said. "They traveled to Texas because they got word that he was living in Texas but they couldn't find him. And I went with my dad to the [Florida] Keys after another tip."

The missing person’s case for Null has been active since 1978, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children developed an age-progressed image of Null recently, showing what she may look like at the age of 48 on their website.

As of Friday morning, additional pieces of the car had been removed from the canal and the investigation is ongoing.

Sources: Sun-Sentinel, ABC News / Photo Source: Screenshot/YouTube