Authorities said the blue Ford Tempo pulled from Lake Dardanelle in Russellville matched the description of the one driven by Samantha Jean Hopper, 19, who was reported missing with her 22-month-old daughter, Courtney Holt, more than 23 years ago, on Sept. 11, 1998.
Hopper was reportedly eight months pregnant when she disappeared.
She’d been due to drop off her daughter before going to a concert in Little Rock, Pope County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release Wednesday, but they never arrived and their car was “never located.”
The remains found inside in the vehicle “will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for DNA testing,” said the sheriff’s office.
Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones sent “sincere condolences to the family of Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt,” saying the office was “thankful to have been a small part of helping bring this 23-year-old case to closure.”