A young couple vanishes after a frightening car crash in South Dakota.
On the morning of December 12, 1992, a car stopped at a remote intersection at the edge of the Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation in Lake Andes, South Dakota. It was cold and the road was icy.
The driver was 20-year-old Arnold Archambeau. One of the passengers was his girlfriend, 19-year-old Ruby Bruguier. The other passenger was Ruby’s cousin, 17-year-old Tracy Dion. All three had been drinking when the car crashed in a frozen ditch.
By the time help arrived, Tracy was the only person still in the car. For some unexplained reason, Arnold and Ruby had abandoned her.
By daybreak, the police had already searched the area. Although the ice underneath the car was frozen solid, they feared that Arnold and Ruby had wandered off and fallen through the ice at another location.
Bill Youngstrom was a Deputy for the Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Department at the time of their disappearance:
Arnold’s aunt, Karen Tuttle, did not accept that theory:
Over the next three months, Deputy Youngstrom investigated every possible lead. Day after day he came up empty. Then the spring thaw arrived. In early March, a passing motorist saw a body in the ditch, just 75 feet from the accident site. It was Ruby Bruguier. Deputy Youngstrom witnessed a gruesome scene:
The bodies were immediately autopsied but there was no way to determine the time of death. The coroner concluded that Arnold and Ruby had both died of exposure. But Deputy Youngstrom suspected foul play:
Deputy Youngstrom was further baffled by the discovery of two items that seemed to support the theory that Arnold and Ruby had not died in the ditch:
Soon there was another startling revelation. A witness claimed to have seen Arnold, accompanied by three other people on New Year’s Eve, almost three weeks after he was reported missing. Authorities brought the witness in for a polygraph exam. She passed.
But how did the bodies of Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Bruguier end up in the very same ditch where they crashed their car three months earlier? Ruby’s father, Quentin Bruguier, had his own theory:
Were Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Bruguier victims of foul play? How and why their bodies were discovered in a ditch 75 feet from the crash site remains a troubling mystery.