By Jesse Wood
For more than 40 years, the family of Amos Earl Shook, an Air Force veteran who was born in Watauga County in 1928 and disappeared in Caldwell County in 1972, has wondered what happened to him.
While the police figured Shook went off on his own will, the family knew something tragic probably happened for this man to never make contact with his family again. The Shooks lived in Caldwell County at the time of his disappearance.
On Tuesday, the family felt closure as Shook’s 1968 green Pontiac Catalina was found 30-feet deep in Lake Rhodhiss, according to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.
Inside the vehicle were human remains and a wallet with identification that belonged to Shook.
A month ago Shook’s daughter, Pamela Shook approached the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and requested that authorities take another look into the cold case that was the disappearance of Shook, according to WCNC.com.
So after taking a look at the case files and speaking with the family, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, SBI and North Catawba Fire and Rescue conducted a vehicle recovery operation at lake’s boat access on Waterworks Road.
Investigators and divers utilized advances in sonar technology and revisited leads from the missing person case, which was reported on Feb. 19, 1972, to pinpoint the location of Shook’s vehicle.
The sheriff’s office said no signs of foul play currently exist and that the remains will be transferred to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy and identification. Investigators are still unsure how the car ended up in the lake.
“We take a serious approach to all cases reported to the Sheriff’s Office and never consider a case closed until the truth is known,” Sheriff Alan C. Jones.
When Shook disappeared, Pamela’s parents were separated.
“I can tell you what the police thought… they just thought he ran off with another woman,” Pamela told local media. “He would not have left me, he was a good father. We knew something happened to him, we always thought he was in the river, or went off the side of the mountain.”
Shook’s widow, Katie, posted on the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Facebook page. She noted that if the family doesn’t figure out all of the answers to this tragedy, at least it answered a few questions.
“This is my husband’s car. For 43 years, we have had to live with this, not knowing anything. Now maybe we can put his body to rest. We have to go North Carolina Friday to be interviewed but God answered our prayers and we can have closure.”
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