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New info. out on 1971 disappearance of 2 Vermillion girls

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A mechanical test points away from foul play being a factor in the 1971 disappearance of two girls whose car was found last month, but investigators will weigh other evidence before drawing a conclusion, South Dakota's attorney general said Thursday.

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The 1960 Studebaker was in third gear, the highest, Marty Jackley said.

"That evidence, standing alone, would not be consistent with foul play," he said. "Being in neutral would be consistent with foul play.

"I think we need to be cautious and look at the entire file and all the evidence that's been discovered."

Jackley also said a forensic pathologist in Sioux Falls confirmed that skeletal remains found inside the car after its discovery in September are consistent with being from two different people.

The bones have been sent to the University of North Texas for identification using DNA testing, he said.

The results could help bring closure to the families and allow proper burials and also might yield further evidence, Jackley said.

Vermillion High School students Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson, both 17, were last seen in the car on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.

The car was found upside down in an embankment in Brule Creek in southeast South Dakota.