He was part of an investigation in the early 1990s hoping to find any answers in the disappearance of Pam Jackson and Sherri Miller. Now, former Vermillion police detective Ray Hofman is speaking out on how each look into this case has led investigators to where they are now.
The discovery of a 1960 Studebaker in the Brule Creek on Monday is of interest to anyone who was once involved in the decades-old investigation into the disappearance of the teenage girls. Hofman would be the first to admit he has a personal interest in the case.
"I worked at one of the local restaurants here and the Miller girl's grandma was there, too, and we worked together. She was the cook and I was the dishwasher," Hofman said.
Knowing her grandmother made Miller's disappearance even harder to handle.
Starting in 1991, Hofman started looking for the missing car in a gravel pit close by to where they were last seen. He had no luck.
"I really, I didn't think they'd be able, in my lifetime, that they would find the car," Hofman said.
That all changed on Monday morning in Brule Creek, an area Hofman had once considered searching through, but never did.
"When we were over there in the early 90s, I remember looking at that creek and thinking, 'Geez, this is just a stream. You couldn't lose anything in there,'" Hofman said.
He does admit that right under the bridge is a prime location for the creek to collect water.
During Hofman's investigation, he operated under the assumption that the girls disappeared due to a car accident. The position of the car in the creek might suggest he was right.
"If the wheels are up, it certainly could've been going too fast and just missed and went off the roadway and flipped on its side," Hofman said.
He may be on the outside of the investigation looking in, but Hofman has complete faith that everyone in the case will find the closure they need.
"They're doing a great search over there and they're going to take it step by step and if there is anything to be found, they will find it," Hofman said.
Hofman remembers speaking with Miller's grandmother many times after the girl's disappearance and is still saddened that she will never know for sure what happened to her granddaughter, but he says Monday's discovery is a major step in allowing everyone to move on.