Document reveals result of farm search

Document reveals result of farm search by David Lias Documents filed with the Union County Clerk of Courts office this week reveal that law enforcement officials found pieces of bone and metal, and a red purse as they searched the Kerwynn Lykken farm of rural Alcester last month.

The sheriff's departments of Clay and Union counties, and the Vermillion Police Department assisted a newly formed Cold Case Unit of the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation in the search.

Authorities are hoping to learn the fate of Cheryl Miller and Pamela Jackson, two 17-year-old Vermillion girls who disappeared without a trace the night of May 29, 1971.

The document indicates that David Lykken, 50, may be involved in the disappearance of the two girls, and three additional people.

The warrant, signed Aug. 20 by Circuit Court Judge Arthur Rusch, states that proof by affidavits has been made by DCI Agent Michael Braley that there was probable cause to believe that a search of the Lykken farm may reveal the bodies or any remains of Jackson and Miller.

Authorities also believed they may find items belonging to or worn by Jackson and Miller, including:


* a transistor radio belonging to Miller.


* a purse belonging to Miller.


* Clothing, including white blouses worn by both Jackson and Miller.


* a heavy red flannel shirt, dark rimmed glasses, a watch and a 1972 VHS class ring

belonging to Jackson.

The affidavit indicates investigators believed they could find items or clothing belonging to three other people.

The names are blacked out on the document.

Law enforcement noted they were looking for items from Jackson, Miller, the three additional individuals, or any other victim, "to establish a 'souvenir' collection pattern. Those items would include underwear, photographs, hair clippings, footwear and jewelry.

The warrant gave law enforcment permission to search for any sexually explicit photographs of any of the women listed in the affidavit, or other potential victims.

Authorities also sought and received permission to search for writings, journals, documentation or recordings of any kind detailing David Lykken's involvement with Jackson or Miller.

Their search also included documentation showing that David Lykken resided on the farm at the time Jackson and Miller disappeared.

Lykken, 50, is serving 227 years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary for kidnapping, sexually assaulting and burglarizing a former girlfriend.

His trial was held in late November, 1990, in the Clay County Courthouse.

At his 1991 sentencing, the victim, Lykken's former wife and three other former girlfriends all testified that between 1977 and 1990, he regularly terrorized and abused them.

Inventory

Braley filed an inventory listing Sept. 1 indicating the items found by searchers at the Lykken farm last month.

Bones, stones and pieces of metal with paint were found and seized Aug. 24 from a green metal building on the farm.

Searchers also recovered a bone fragment from a septic tank located northwest of the farm's dairy barn.

A red purse was found in the rafters of an old house on the farm.

A variety of other items were seized, including a Bible, a camera, a photo album, boxes of photos, packages of letters, rubber gloves, clothing items and newspaper articles.

Authorities also collected two scrapbooks, two photo albums, a high school annual and two photos of the Lykken farm.

The items have been taken to the DCI laboratory in Pierre for analysis.

Without a trace

The disappearance of Miller and Jackson has been a mystery that's lingered in the Vermillion community for over three decades.

The two girls, both 17 and both juniors at Vermillion High School, had arranged to get together the evening of Saturday, May 29, 1971.

Jackson told her parents that they were going to visit Miller's grandmother at Dakota Hospital and then "go driving."

Miller told her half-sister, Rita, that after visiting the hospital, she and Jackson were going roller-skating at River Sioux, east of Vermillion, and were then going to a slumber party.

Miller was driving her grandfather's (Nick Jensen) 1960 Studebaker Lark. It was described as beige or light tan with SD plates 19-3994.

The girls were at the hospital visiting Pearl Jensen, Miller's grandmother, until about 9:30 p.m. They were seen one more time that evening by three classmates in a church parking lot at Garryowen, just east of I-29 at the Akron exit.

The girls met three acquaintances � Pat Gale, Steve Glass and Mark Logterman, at the Garryowen corner. The three young men were waiting for friends to arrive. They were headed to a keg party located south of Union County Park near a large gravel pit.

They never arrived

Gale gave Miller directions to the party. Glass recalled that the girls followed the boys down Highway 77, but he also remembers that they went about a mile past their turn-off and had to turn around. He did not remember seeing the girls when they doubled back.

"The girls pulled in, and didn't know how to get to the party," Logterman said. "We told them to follow us. I remember them following us."

Logterman said the girls followed them when they turned off Highway 77 onto a gravel road. The boys then missed the turnoff that would have taken them down to the gravel pit.

"We went up a hill and down a hill before we turned around. We didn't see them when we came back. We thought they had figured it out for themselves."

Gale, Glass and Logterman never saw the girls at the party.

"I don't believe they ever got there," Logterman said.

There has been speculation over the years that the girls, while driving in the wrong direction at night, may have wound up in the Missouri River.

The party was held at Gunderson's Chute, located several miles west of Burbank. A gravel road off the Burbank Road leads directly to the bank of the river.

Today, the river is calm in that area. In 1971, it was much different. A swift current had cut the bank back about 50 feet that spring.

In 1991, when drought conditions lowered the river's levels, Passick had the channel explored from Clay County Park to the Ponderosa housing development, hoping to find the Studebaker.

Complicating the investigation immediately after the girls' disappearance was an unwillingness by many young people to talk to law enforcement.

Former Clay County Sheriff Arnold Nelson said the young people were protective. Talking to authorities was not a popular thing to do, especially when the questioning involved illegal parties, drugs and missing people.

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