South Florida

Car Found in Sunrise Canal Related to 1978 Missing Persons Case: BSO

A car found in a South Florida canal Thursday is related to a missing persons case that's more than 35 years old, authorities said.

The car was found by South Florida Water Management workers who were dredging the Sunrise canal. Footage showed the rusted car to be partially disintegrated after spending perhaps decades in the water.

No remains were found in the car, but Broward Sheriff's Office officials said it's related to a missing persons case from 1978.

“It opened my eyes and gave me goose bumps,” said Dinorah Perry of the Missing Children International Ministries.

Perry’s organization helps search for missing persons. The car is believed to be a 1969 Dodge Coronet. The same car was believed to be carrying 15-year-old Dana Null and her boyfriend Wade Atchison on October 7, 1978.

The couple was last seen inside a mobile home park where Atchison lived. They went to see the band “Journey” and then came back to his home. Investigators said the couple then got into a violent argument and Wade jumped in the car and took off.

Detectives said Dana took off after him, stopped him, and jumped in the car. The two haven’t been seen or heard from since that night.

“It’s a blessing because someone will get a taste of closure. I’m sure her family never forgot about her and the young man with her. I’m sure his family haven’t forgotten. They just didn’t know where to look,” Perry said.

No remains were found in the car, discovered by the 14100 block of State Road 84, but the Broward Sheriff’s Office said they will continue to search the waterway near where the car was discovered Thursday.

“We just want to make sure there is no other evidence or information this canal is holding that we could possibly give those family members to tell them what happened to their loved ones,”

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