Previous Report 10/4:
A van pulled from a Daviess County lake has the skeletal remains of three bodies inside. Western Kentucky law enforcement agencies pulled the van from a lake near Utica around nine Friday night. The van, the three bodies, all of this - it swirls around a western Kentucky missing persons case that is a decade old. Sitting on the back of this truck was the first time the van had seen dry land in ten years. Then, for the first in a long time, on the back of that truck, it took to the open road And, it ended up at the Owensboro Police garage. "They have taken hours and hours of painstaking work last night as well as today and will continue to do so," said Ofc. Marian Cosgrove. That work helped them determined the van was the same vehicle that had gone missing during Thanksgiving week 1998. And, when they opened the doors, three bodies were inside. "It's just too premature for us to comment on the identity of the individuals," said Daviess County Sheriff's Department Lt. Col. Jeff Jones. "The remains will be taken to the medical examiner's office in Frankfurt for further investigation." Jones worked a missing persons case in 1998. The three missing people - Bryan Raley, Bill Gross, and James Woodard - were last seen in the van, which was pulled up Friday night. About two weeks after the three men went missing, law enforcement officers thought they had a break in the case. An old Messenger-Inquirer article from December 6th, 1998, says that search teams thought cadaver dogs had found the three bodies. But, crews dug and dug and only turned up dirt. The land belonged to the Bryan Scott Terry. The Daviess County Sheriff's Department thought back then Terry might have something do with the disappearances. But, in the present, Jones wouldn't comment on whether or not this is now a murder investigation, and, if so, if Terry is a suspect. "The specific details of the investigation, we wouldn't be prepared to release right now." Terry is currently in Texarkana minimum security federal prison He was convicted in one of the largest meth busts in Kentucky history. That time was difficult for the families of the missing men. "It's worrying us to death," said Mike Gross at the time. Mike Gross is the uncle of Bill Gross, one of the missing men. Even if the bodies haven't been identified, the van ID was enough for authorities. "They have been in contact with the families," said Cosgrove. "And, any additional information we receive, we will pass onto them first." That additional information could be a long time coming. Jones says the medical examiner could take weeks to make an ID. The tip that led to the discovery of the van actually had nothing to do with this case. Owensboro Police say the tipster thought what was underwater was the truck of Charles Haywood - the 91-year-old man missing since late July. Cosgrove says even if this tip didn't help them find Haywood, she still encourages people to keep calling with any tip - no matter how small - because you never know where it will lead.