Human remains were discovered inside a car that matched the description of a missing persons case from 1998 in Pope County, Arkansas this week.
On Tuesday (Oct. 26), the Pope County police department were informed that a car matching the description of a vehicle belonging to missing person Samantha Jean Hopper was spotted submerged in water in Russellville. Hopper, aged 20 at the time, was reported missing alongside her 22-month-old daughter Courtney Holt in September, 1998. She was pregnant at the time, and was last seen on September 11.
Police explained that she was traveling to drop off her daughter before she was set to go to a concert in Little Rock, although she, her daughter, and her blue Ford Tempo were never located. Non-profit group Adventures With Purpose, which travels around the United States helping find new leads in cold cases, discovered the vehicle submerged in “about eight feet of water.”
While DNA testing has yet to come back from the Arkansas State Crime Lab, the vehicle contained human remains when it was retrieved from the water.
"The Pope County Sheriff's Office would like to send our sincere condolences to the family of Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt," said Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones in a statement shared on Wednesday. "We are thankful to have been a small part of helping bring this 23-year-old case to closure."