Remains found in sucken car in canal might belong to teens missing for 36 years


Dana was reported as a missing person unlike Harry

UPDATE 4/2/15 – A reader brought this to my attention.  It was found in a newspaper article from the Ocala Star-Banner in August 1999.

“Sheriff’s deputies discovered (Dana E.) Null walking in a high-crime area last week in Immokalee and stopped to talk to her.  When they ran a back-ground check, they discovered she had been reported missing.

Null told detectives that she and Atchison lived together for a year after they left but then went their separate ways.”


Original story:  A car found in a Florida canal may hold the remains of two teens that have been missing since 1978.  The police have identified the car as a 1969 Dodge, and it was owned by a 19-year-old that has not been seen for over 35 years.

The car was located by city workers doing some maintenance work.  A piece of the car got caught on the workers equipment.

Dana Null, 15 and Harry “Wade” Atchison, 19, went missing on Oct. 7, 1978.  They had gone to a Journey concert and returned to Wade’s parent’s home afterwords. Wade was having a small party at the home while his parent’s were in New York at the time.  During the party, Wade got in an argument with his brother and jumped into his car.  Dana jumped in the car with him.

Police refused to do missing person report for Harry as he was an adult.

Atchison’s sister, Donna Amaya, told ABC News that bones were recovered and they were from the lower half of a person’s body.

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

Dana’s parents filed a missing person report, but the Atchison never could because the police said that Atchison was an adult and could leave if he wanted.

This case is similar to the case of Terrance Beghin, 26, who went missing in 1986.  His 1982 Corvette was found in the Punta Gorda canal 30 years later in October 2013, with his remains.

In 2014, the remains of Carol L. Wood who had been missing for 18 years was found in a car pulled out of the Oswego River in New York.

In April 2013, the remains of two teens who went missing from South Dakota in 1971 were found inside a Studebaker in the Brule Creek in South Dakota.  The wheel became visible because the level of the water was low.

The most shared story in 2013 on this website, was the story of two cars located in a North Dakota creek.    As the police pulled the 1969 Camaro from out of the water they found a 1952 Chevy.  The Camaro held the remains of three teens,  Jimmy Allen Williams, Leah Gail Johnson and Thomas Michael Rios who disappeared in 1970 leaving three family’s wondering most of their life whatever happened to them.    The other car held the remains of Nora Duncan and John “Alvie” Porter and Cleburn Hammock, who went missing in 1969.

In May 2014, Tim Miller, the founder of Texas Equusearch went to the Houston Police Department to tell them they had discovered more that 125 cars submerged in a Houston waterways, while they were searching for a missing woman.  Miller believes that may be missing people in some of those cars.  Miller is still trying to bring attention to the situation so these cars can be retrieved, but so far the police stated they do not have the money to do it, according to Miller.

About Missing Persons Admin 4789 Articles
Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America and Missing Texas Forty.

3 Comments

  1. 125 cars under water need to be brought to surface.someone open a go fund me account raise the money and give it to cops tell no excuse noe. Love ones need to know if their missing family member is in one those cars

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