SUNRISE (CBSMiami) –Broward Sheriffs Office divers scoured a Sunrise canal again on Friday, finding bones that could be a clue to a four decades old missing teens case. The uncle of one of the missing teens also spoke out also.
“It’s still really unresolved,” said Paul Cacciatore, the uncle of one of the missing youngsters, 15-year-old Dana Null, who was then a freshman at Plantation High School.
Cacciatore told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “They found the car but they haven’t found them. So I still think it’s a mystery. They left with nothing so it wasn’t like they were going on a long journey together. But I do appreciate what the divers are doing. We are looking to get answers. It’s been 36 years, a long time.”
On Friday, BSO divers searched the canal again. A spokeswoman said they found car parts and human remains. The bones have been sent to the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office.
It appeared they also pulled the hood of the car from the canal as well as part of a car seat.
The remains of a car belonging to the pair of teens was pulled from the canal just North of State Road 84 between 136th Avenue and Markham Park the day before.
According to missing persons reports, Null and her boyfriend Harry Wade Atchison, 19, attended a concert by Foreigner at the Hollywood Sportatorium on October 7, 1978. Those missing persons reports reveal that after arriving at Atchison’s home, the couple apparently got into an argument and drove off in Atchison’s 1969 orange Dodge Coronet, never to be seen again.
Cacciatore was at the canal as Broward Sheriff’s divers prepared to go back in. He hopes the case can finally be solved.
” I wasn’t quite sure I believed it because there’s been a lot of other alerts along the way in the last 36 years that there are possible leads. It was always a dead end so once I read it in the papers and once I seen they put faces to the accident then I started to believe that it’s true, that they did find something ,” said Cacciatore.
The remains of the car were laid out on a tow truck on Thursday. The car was barely even recognizable as a vehicle when it was pulled out. But investigators say at least the families of Null and Atchison know a crucial clue about where the teens wound up the night they vanished.
“Is there some relief on your part,” asked D’Oench.
“Yes, at least I know something happened here, unexplained. Maybe it was just a sad accident , a bad, terrible accident. I don’t know. Until they find bodies, something else could have happened,” said Cacciatore.
“It would mean a great deal to me to get some answers,” he said. “It would be a relief to the whole family to know that this was put to rest. I would mean everything just to know the end of the story.”
Her uncle said Null had three sisters. He said two of them are going to the canal to join him.
Dinorah Perry of Missing Children International Ministries has helped families in their search for loved ones in South Florida canals.
“At first I was in shock when I heard this,” she said. “I know these waters and we have swept it countless times. It just goes to show you can never give up,
The car was discovered after a South Florida maintenance worker was performing maintenance on the canal and his equipment got stuck. The vehicle identification number was checked and it matched Atchison’s missing car.
This mystery received some media attention in 1995 when Atchison’s sister Donna Amaya persuaded BSO to reopen what was then a cold case.