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"She said just about every night after supper, he’d go out driving around the countryside looking for that Studebaker," said Paul Buum, publisher of the local newspaper, the Alcester Union and Hudsonite.
Oscar Jackson died five days before the car was found, at age 102. An obituary noted that his daughter’s disappearance was his "greatest sadness."
Buum was at Jackson’s funeral when authorities announced they had found the car. After hearing about the discovery, Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges said his thoughts went immediately to the Jackson family.
"It was a higher being that Oscar might have got some information from and led that individual who called us to the place," the sheriff said.
Hofman and others in Vermillion grew up with the mystery.
"We always knew about it," he said, "but never knew what happened to them."
Associated Press researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this story.
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