SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s a new book out about South Dakota’s most infamous cold case investigation.
“Vanished in Vermillion” was written by former KELO TV reporter Lou Raguse, who spent years researching files and conducting interviews to find the truth about what really happened to two teenage girls who mysteriously disappeared.
In 1971, Pam Jackson and Sherri Miller were on their way to an end-of-the-school-year party.
“It was going to be held in a gravel pit which is right over there, kind of a secluded spot where kids would party and and throw a kegger without the parents being able to drive by and see what’s going on,” Raguse said.
But the two girls never made it.
Raguse spent five years researching and writing his book.
In it, he says the girls seemingly disappeared without a trace.
The sheriff at the time told the families, they must have run away.
In the book, Raguse writes police didn’t do enough to try and find them and the case was closed.
But 30 years later, all that changed when South Dakota started a cold case unit to re-investigate unsolved mysteries.
The Jackson-Miller case was one of the first and it wasn’t long before investigators thought the two had to have been murdered and they had their prime suspect.
His name was David Lykken.
Lykken was serving time for rape in an unrelated case, so investigators were sure they had their man.
“David Lykken was charged in 2007 with murdering and raping these girls just because he was a criminal who happened to live at the time on a farm a couple of miles that way,” Raguse said.
The Lykken farm became the focus of a massive investigation as law enforcement turned it upside down looking for the two girls or any evidence.
But as we later found out, they were dead wrong.
“There’s nobody who has come forward law enforcement to apologize to me, my mom is deceased so no apologies can be given to her, but I think I deserve an apology,” Kerwyn Lykken said.