'He Was a Great Man': Woman Finds Closure After Her Dad's Remains Are Discovered – 43 Years After He Went Missing

North Carolina: Remains Found in Lake Thought to Be Man Missing for 43 Years
The car pulled from Lake Rhodhiss on Tuesday
Caldwell County Sheriff's Office

07/23/2015 AT 10:40 AM EDT

A rusted car pulled from a North Carolina lake on Tuesday could hold the key to a man's disappearance more than four decades ago.

Human remains were found inside the car, a Green 1968 Pontiac Catalina, which was discovered in 30 feet of water in Lake Rhodhiss in Caldwell County, the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday in a Facebook post. Authorities believe the remains to be those of Amos Shook, a retired Air Force member who went missing in 1972.

Shook disappeared when he was in his 40s, leaving behind a grieving family, including 14-year-old daughter Pamela. It was that daughter, now 57, who reached out to investigators last month, asking them to take another look at the cold case.

They obliged, and on Tuesday, they finally got a break, when they located a car in the lake that matched the description of Shook's vehicle.

While the remains found inside have not yet been positively identified as Shook, officials are pretty confident it's him, WSOC reports.

"It put some closure on something they've been looking forward to for a long time," said Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones of the family.

Added Shook's daughter Pamela, who now lives in Tennessee: "I've waited and waited for this," she told WSOC. "It's emotional and a relief."

Officials hope to be able to determine what, exactly, happened to Shook, provided the remains are indeed his. Jones said that investigators don't suspect foul play or suicide.

"There's nothing that indicates that," Jones said.

But how the car got in the lake is still a mystery. "Finding somebody that's still alive that could answer [that], will be tough," Jones said.

For now, Pamela is just happy that her father's body may have finally been found, putting to rest lingering doubts that he'd abandoned her.

"He was a great man, a great daddy," said Pamela. "If he would have been alive he would have gotten a hold of us."

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