Law enforcement officials say that a car pulled from a South Florida canal late Thursday is linked to a 1978 missing persons case.

Broward County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright told the Sun-Sentinel  that the orange 1969 Dodge Coronet was found by a South Florida Water Management District employee. When Sunrise police ran the vehicle identification number on the car's windshield, they found that it had belonged to 19-year-old Harry Wade Atchison.

Atchison and his 15-year-old girlfriend, Dana Null, were last seen on the night of Oct. 7, 1978. They had attended a Journey concert earlier in the evening and had gotten into an argument. They were last seen driving away from a mobile home where Atchison lived.

Officials said that no bodies were in the car, which was almost unrecognizable after spending so long in the canal. Dive team members were searching the canal for remains late Thursday, but so far had been unsuccessful. Coleman-Wright told reports that the back portion of the car was buried too deep at the bottom of the canal to be pulled out.

"I try to get to that scene because I need to know so we can give some closure to some of those family members," Dinorah Perry of Missing Children International Ministries, which helps search for missing people, told reporters. "It means the world."

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