The search for a missing mother and daughter may well be over but perhaps with a tragic end. Deputies out of Pope County, Arkansas announced Wednesday that they found a vehicle matching the description of Samantha Jean Hoppers‘s blue Ford Tempo. It contained human remains. Authorities said DNA testing was pending, but Sheriff Shane Jones pretty much confirmed the worst fears in the search for the missing woman and her child Courtney Holt, 1.
“The Pope County Sheriff’s Office would like to send our sincere condolences to the family of Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt, and we are thankful to have been a small part of helping bring this 23-year-old case to closure,” he said.
Authorities said they got a call Tuesday about a vehicle matching Hopper’s in the water near the 3700 block of Pleasant View Road. It was reported be approximately 25 yards from the bank in about eight feet of water.
Hopper, 20, and Holt went missing Sept. 11, 1998, deputies said.
“Samantha was reported to have been traveling to drop her daughter, Courtney Holt, off before continuing on to a concert in Little Rock; however, Samantha, her daughter, and her blue Ford Tempo were never located,” authorities said.
Hopper was nine months pregnant when she went missing, daughter Dezarae Carpenter wrote in an online fundraising campaign to pay for the burials. It raised $2,600 of a $10,000 goal as of Saturday night.
Deputies credited the group Adventures with Purpose with discovering the vehicle. The Arkansas State Crime Lab were to handle DNA testing.
“Once on scene, Investigators requested assistance from Elmo’s Crane Service and Battlecross Towing to remove the vehicle from the water,” deputies wrote. “The vehicle was reported to have been approximately twenty-five yards from the bank in about eight feet of water. Once removed from the water, the vehicle was found to have human remains that will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for DNA testing.”
[Image via Pope County Sheriff’s Office]
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