Family Reacts After Man's Remains Were Pulled From Foss Lake

Wednesday, September 10th 2014, 11:13 pm
By: News 9

After 45 years, the granddaughter of a man whose remains were pulled from Foss Lake is ready for closure.

The medical examiner just identified the remains of John Alva Porter last week, confirming the family's fears.

Porter, 69-years-old at the time, was riding around the country with his friends in his 1950's, green, 4-door Chevy sedan.

Rusted and caked with mud, the old Chevy was found in Foss Lake 45 years later.

“It's been a crazy year; it's been a blessed year. It's been a relief. It's been closure,” Debbie McManaman said.

It started as a routine training exercise to test new sonar equipment last September, but it quickly turned into the mysterious discovery of not one but two vehicles, each with the remains of three bodies inside.

8/5/2014 Related Story: New Developments In Investigation Into Foss Lake Human Remains

McManaman's grandfather was driving the old Chevy. She recalls the day he went missing.

“I remember it very well, because I remember that week in Elk City, people were talking and wondering where are they,” McManaman recalled.

She was 13 years old, and her grandfather suddenly vanished.

“A lot of times we would think foul play, you know, because three adults just come up missing, and where could they be,” McManaman said.

One year since the remains of her grandfather were found, McManaman said there's still a lot of unanswered questions. But after more than four decades of wondering, the family is ready for closure.

8/8/2014 Related Story: Families React After Remains Found In Foss Lake

“Any trace or any thought that anybody would have, we were looking,” said McManaman. “We never gave up hope, never gave up hope.”

McManaman and her family still want to give her grandfather a proper burial. They have already purchased a headstone.

Once Porter's remains are released by the medical examiner's office, they plan to bury him in Elk City close to his sister.