By Kristen Johnson
ALCESTER, S.D. (KTIV/CNN) - Investigators in South Dakota may be close to solving a decades old cold case. Authorities say the remains of two teens who disappeared in 1971 may have been discovered this week buried in a watery grave.
On May 29, 1971, Pam Jackson and Cheryl Miller were headed to an end of the year party with the rest of their junior class, but they never made it, and up until this week, no one ever knew what happened to them. Now, some of those who last saw them alive are speaking out.
"We just passed the word around, there was a class party down at the gravel pits," said former classmate Dwight Iverson.
Cheryl and Pam decided to follow three of their classmates, Mark Logterman, Pat Gale, and Steve Glass.
"Pam and Cheryl were behind us. We took the right turn onto this gravel road, and the gravel pit was on the left hand side of the road," said Logterman.
But, the boys missed the turn, and drove past the party.
"When we stopped at the bottom of the hill to turn around we never saw their headlights behind us anymore," said Logterman.
He figured Pam and Cheryl had not missed the turn, and were at the party. But, they weren't.
Iverson says when the girls didn't come back, many people assumed they just ran off to hippie commune or drove to California. But, those who knew them, knew that probably wasn't the case.
"They wouldn't have done that," said Iverson. "They were good old farm girls, very family-oriented, very church-oriented."
Pat and Steve were interviewed by the Union County sheriff. But, Logterman has never been questioned about that night. In fact, this is the first time he's ever spoken publicly about the case.
"It always struck me as very odd. Not that I could have added anything to what Pat and Steve said, but it seems like you don't leave any stone unturned," said Logterman.
And it seems to some, that the authorities at the time didn't pay much attention to what the boys told them.
"It should have been easy to find them. They're somewhere between point A and point B, and the only thing there is a creek," said Iverson.
In Vermillion, the recent discovery of the girls' car, and possibly their remains has the town talking.
"I've probably talked to five or six classmates in the last 24-hours," said Iverson.
To those who were at the gravel pit that fateful night, the truth behind their classmates' disappearance no longer seems a mystery.
"It just makes sense that that's where it would be. Now that we know we can look back and, my gosh it's so easy to figure out. That's the only place it could have been," said Iverson.
But for Mark Logterman that leaves one burning question.
"If this bridge was on that road and when we turned around and went back they had gone off the road, we just drove past them and didn't even know it?" said Logterman.
Leaving him wishing he could have done more.