Peoples said he was confident the Camaro held the remains of the three teens, who were identified as Leah Johnson, Michael Rios and Jimmy Williams. The origins of the bones in the second vehicle were less clear.
Tim Porter of Enid said he believed the remains could be those of his grandfather, John Albert Porter, who disappeared along with two other people in 1969.
“Forty-something years of wondering who or why,” Porter said. “If it is my grandfather in there, it’s a gift.”
The sheriff said Wednesday he was not sure whether the cars held the remains of five or six bodies. The state medical examiner’s office believed the remains of six people were recovered.
The bones were being sent to the medical examiner’s office for identification and to determine the cause of death.
Divers had found three skulls as of Tuesday evening. They planned to continue looking for more remains, said Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph.
Authorities hoped the discoveries would offer some relief to relatives who may have gone decades wondering about the fate of a missing loved one.
“We’re hoping these individuals, that this is going to bring some sort of closure to some families out there who have been waiting to hear about missing people,” Randolph said. “If that’s the case, then we’re thrilled.”