Car Found of Pregnant Mom Who Vanished in 1998

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Christine Beswick

The car of 20-year-old Samantha Hopper who vanished from Pope County in Arkansas in 1998 has been retrieved reports the Daily Mail. Samantha Hopper had a 22-year-old toddler with her at the time of her disappearance, and left behind another daughter. She was going to a concert in Little Rock.

Samantha Hopper was reported missing on September 11, 1998. The vehicle was salvaged from an Arkansas lake this week, and found with human remains. Samantha was reportedly nine-months pregnant at the time.

Samantha Hopper’s Car Retrieved

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The vehicle of Samantha Hopper was found on Tuesday last week, after cold case hunters in a group called Adventures With Purpose spotted the car using a sonar device reports NBC News. A statement from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office says the car was found in eight feet of water.

The remains will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock where they will undergo DNA analysis.

The group Adventures With Purpose was reportedly working with the family. Samantha Hopper’s oldest daughter Dez Carpenter is grateful to both Pope County and the nonprofit organization for their help in locating her family.


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Pope County Sheriff’s Office on Hopper

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The Sheriff’s office responded to the scene on Tuesday after a phone call reporting that they believed they had found Samantha Hopper’s car. The car was removed from the lake afterwards with the help of Battlecross Towing and Elmo’s Crane Service.

The statement from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office also said, “Samantha was reported to have been traveling to drop her daughter, Courtney Holt, off before continuing on to a concert in Little Rock, however, Samantha, her daughter, and her blue Ford Tempo were never located.”

Police Send Remains for Testing

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With the help of towing and crane contractors, police pulled the vehicle from the eight-foot-deep Arkansas river. The vehicle was found approximately 25-yards off of the river bank.

The license plate of the car matched the plate for Samantha Hopper. Samples from the human remains will be compared with samples taken from Dez Carpenter. Dez Carpenter’s DNA will also be compared to a national database of bodies that remain unidentified.

The police are not yet clear on whether or not there was foul play involved, but these findings are giving investigators the break they need to close this 23-year-old cold case.

Dez Carpenter Sets Up Memorial Fund

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The Sheriff’s office offered condolences to Samantha Hopper’s family, and to the family of Courtney Holt. They were thankful to bring closure to the family.

A statement has been issued by the oldest daughter of the victim through a memorial fund that has been set up for the family. Dez Carpenter wrote, “After being missing for over 23 years, with the assistance of AWP and Chaos Dive teams, we were able to find my mother…and my 22-month-old sister. This has been such a relief to have found her and we want to provide them with a proper burial.” The Pope County Sheriff’s office believes a tragedy happened to Samantha during her drive 23 years ago.