Police find car and body of missing teenager in McClellan Creek, but suspect linked to her disappearance

Search crews found the missing teenage girl’s car and human remains Monday in a Columbia County creek.

An adult male and juvenile were taken into custody at the scene. The two are believed to be involved in the disappearance of 17-year-old Angela Sprenger, who disappeared from Cascade High School in Mount Vernon in 1974.

The search was first reported around 7:30 a.m. by a group of divers trying to locate the missing Sprenger’s 1977 Honda Accord.

The swimming area off Mount Vernon Branch Road was not in McClellan Creek when the car was found, according to the Washington Post. Police are investigating whether the car could have been there for years or where the body was found.

Sprenger was 17 when she was reported missing on Feb. 25, 1974. A state police spokesman said the vehicle was found in the McClellan Creek near the border of Columbia and Loudoun counties.

Sprenger had just picked up a friend from Cascade High School and was getting into her car for an afternoon at a restaurant. Her car was parked across from the school. Her purse and glasses were found along the roadside. She was not seen alive again.

According to one of her former classmates, Kim Burns, Sprenger was hitchhiking home from work as a waitress on the evening she disappeared.

“I went out and looked for her later at night and couldn’t find her,” Burns told CNN. “It’s just devastating.”

Sprenger was a class prankster and “was a little mad at school,” Burns told the Post in 2004.

Authorities took the 2003 Saturn Vue from the creek and placed it in a search boat. The car was red and had a pink Southwest family resemblance sticker. Sprenger’s full name was listed as Angela Marie Sprenger on the vehicle title.

A juvenile citizen was first taken into custody around 10 a.m. Monday near the State Capitol, according to the Post. The man was arrested in the Lake Street parking lot in the Downtown Columbia complex, where Columbia Court Apartments is located. A juvenile citizen was taken into custody in the lakefront section of the complex, which was home to Columbia Court Apartments at the time.

A second juvenile citizen was also detained Monday night by State Police and taken to a detention facility, according to a state police spokesman.

The man arrested by the State Police is one of Sprenger’s neighbors, the Washington Post reported. The juvenile citizen detained was also a neighbor.

The man arrested by the State Police is 48-years-old. He has been booked on one count of first-degree murder, theft of a motor vehicle and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. The juvenile citizen detained was 18-years-old. He has been booked on one count of first-degree murder, theft of a motor vehicle and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

Sprenger’s mother met with the state police on Monday, ABC 13 reported.

Victoria Sprenger expressed her disappointment with the arrest and said she was unsure why there was so much attention on her daughter’s case.

“I’m disappointed,” Sprenger told the Post. “But I don’t think it helps at all.”

Author information: Meagan Jordahl, Roley Whitaker and Julia Rozak, Washington Post

Leave a Comment