Pope County 911 received a call Tuesday that a car that matched the description of the car by Samantha Jean Hopper, a 20-year-old mother who was reported missing along with her daughter in September 1998, was in a body of water in Russellville, so a press release from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office. A nonprofit group called Adventures With Purpose, which is traveling the country to work on cold cases, found the vehicle, the statement said.
Investigators were called to the scene of the accident and asked for help from a crane and a towing service to remove the car from a depth of two meters.
After the car was pulled ashore, human remains were discovered inside the vehicle. They were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for DNA testing, the sheriff’s office said.
Hopper, who was pregnant at the time, was reportedly out to drop her 22-month-old daughter Courtney Holt in her blue Ford Tempo before heading on to a concert in Little Rock after her disappearance.
“The Pope County Sheriff’s Office wishes to extend our condolences to the families of Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt,” said Shane Jones, Pope County Sheriff. “We are grateful that we did a small part in bringing this 23-year-old case to a close.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong year mother and daughter went missing. It was 1998.