The Duncan Banner

Local News

October 6, 2008

Car found submerged

On Aug. 4, 2003, 71-year-old Virginia Carter was reported missing to the Duncan Police Department.

Five years later, her 1993 Mercury four-door Grand Marquis was found by the Lawton Police Department’s dive team Sunday afternoon at the bottom of Duncan Lake with remains inside.

Once the vehicle was removed from the lake, the state medical examiner took over the scene. He will analyze the remains through DNA and X-ray to verify the identity of the remains.

Duncan Police Capt. Jay Evans said that the state medical examiner will also determine whether there was foul play involved or whether there needs to be an autopsy.

“Anytime there is an unattended death, we call the medical examiner in,” Evans said. “The medical examiner takes over the scene once the car is removed from the water. We just secure the area for him.”

Duncan Police Maj. Rick Lang said that the car was found in the northeast portion of the lake in 19 feet of water.

The break in this missing person case came Sunday morning when a volunteer search-and-recovery team from Texas was helping the police on a separate and unrelated case, Lang said.

Tim Miller, the founder of Texas EquuSearch, a mounted search and rescue team, said that Duncan Police Lt. Jimmy Williams told them about this 5-year-old missing person case and asked them if they had any equipment that could search water.

Miller told the police about new sonar equipment that has been available for only a year and a half. This sonar has higher resolution than previous equipment and works similar to ultrasound.

It found what appeared to be a vehicle in the water. It took images from 75 feet out on all sides, then narrowed in to 60 feet and took another image.

“We had eight images,” Miller said. “It was pretty obvious it was a vehicle.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Bench found competent, trial to start Monday

    A jury took 50 minutes on Thursday to find Miles Sterling Bench competent to stand trial for first-degree murder  and District Judge Joe Enos scheduled the trial to begin Monday.
    Bench, 23, of, Velma, is accused of the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma. She was killed in June 2012 in the Teepee Totem convenience store in Velma where Bench was employed.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Miller and Decathlon 0016.jpg Miller pumps up decathlon students

    Dr. Ché Miller, who helped bridge a funding gap needed to send the Duncan High School Decathlon Team to the national competition in Hawaii, gave the team a pep talk on Thursday.
    Miller, recently recognized as the Man of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the students they are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and advised them to absorb as much of the experience as they can.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Churches prepare for Easter Sunday

    Churches throughout Duncan and Stephens County are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
    Today is known as Good Friday to mark the day Christ was crucified on a cross.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 lauren-ellis mug.jpg Ellis named new CEO of regional United Way

    Lauren Ellis, who’s led the United Way of Stephens County for more than two years, has been named the new chief executive officer of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.
    Her new job will be based in Lawton but Ellis said she will remain in Duncan and commute.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014