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View Full Version : SD SD - Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Bruguier, bizarre deaths after car accident, 1993


whitneygh
05-10-2006, 09:15 AM
This is one of the cases featured on the DVD box set Unsolved Mysteries: Bizarre Murders. It has been haunting me ever since I learned about it, but I can't find any other information on it. Does anyone know anything further?


DAKOTA'S DOUBLE DEATH - (South Dakota) Three young friends found themselves in a terrible accident when their car jumped the highway and came to rest in a ditch. By the time help arrived, two of the victims, 20-year-old Arnold Archambeau and his girlfriend, 19-year-old Ruby Bruguier, had mysteriously wandered off.

For three months there were no signs of the young couple. Then, on March 10, 1993, the body of Ruby Bruguier was found floating in the ditch, just 75 feet from the crash site. The next day, Arnold's body turned up a few yards away. However, the two bodies were in very different states of decomposition. Police are convinced that the bodies were not there at the time of the accident.

A friend of the young couple came forward stating that he had seen Arnold Archambeau during the three-month period between the car crash and the discovery of the bodies. The friend successfully passed a polygraph examination regarding his claim.

WhiteWolf
05-11-2006, 09:11 AM
I remember seeing this case on Unsolved Mysteries. Can you refresh my memory a little bit? Was it freezing on the night of the crash (ditch frozen)? Didn't they figure Ruby had been submerged in the ditch which froze and she didn't surface until it thawed?

I'll see if I can find anything about the case.

WhiteWolf
05-11-2006, 12:58 PM
So far all I've found about the case is from Unsolved Mysteries. I'll keep looking.

Angels_Not_Forgotten
05-11-2006, 01:49 PM
wow that is a really strange case. I hope more answers come to light.

coco
09-21-2006, 06:38 AM
So whats the go here? Where was Arnold when the friend saw him and what was the situation?

Angels_Not_Forgotten
01-28-2010, 10:29 AM
came across this old case wanted to bump and throw some questions out there in case someone has any information on this case!

How did they "mysteriously" wonder off? Who was the Third person in the car, what did that person say happened?

How far apart were the deaths according to autopsy, could the third person and one of the missing have conspired to harm the other person and then the third person felt threatened and got rid of the missing?

Just a very strange case, anyone have any other information??

Mr. E
01-28-2010, 02:42 PM
My feeling about the friend's testimony is that he was mistaken. I believe that he believes that he saw Arnold after the accident, but I personally think he was mistaken. I think Arnold and Ruby died that night, and although it's odd that their bodies were in different states of composition, maybe that's just a natural phenomenon. One was covered more by ice, or something. Who knows? But although I always thought this was an interesting mystery (I remember seeing it on Unsolved Mysteries), I think this one is explainable.

Sleuthster
01-28-2010, 02:51 PM
My feeling about the friend's testimony is that he was mistaken. I believe that he believes that he saw Arnold after the accident, but I personally think he was mistaken. I think Arnold and Ruby died that night, and although it's odd that their bodies were in different states of composition, maybe that's just a natural phenomenon. One was covered more by ice, or something. Who knows? But although I always thought this was an interesting mystery (I remember seeing it on Unsolved Mysteries), I think this one is explainable.


I concur. I think nature played a big part in it. If this accident happened in the winter it's quite possible that Ruby's body was frozen in the ditch and Arnolds was covered in a snow drift. Either way, depending on the condition and place the decomposition process could have slowed down because of the body being frozen.

Stella
01-29-2010, 12:00 AM
I believe the accident was caused by an icy road and the car flipped over. Arnold and Ruby managed to get out; the third person, a female cousin of one of them, was trapped inside. She was rescued but had no idea what happened to Arnold and Ruby. I'm going by what I remember from the old UM show from years ago.

Angels_Not_Forgotten
01-29-2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks guys!!

KarlK
02-02-2010, 10:08 PM
I think Arnold and Ruby died that night, and although it's odd that their bodies were in different states of composition, maybe that's just a natural phenomenon. One was covered more by ice, or something. Who knows?

I agree, that's the most likely scenario. Rate of decomp between submerged corpses can vary a great deal especially in freezing conditions.It would be interesting to know if the victims had drowned.

UMfanforever
02-02-2010, 11:18 PM
Dailymotion - Bizarre Murder Series: Dakota's Double Death - a Film & TV video@@AMEPARAM@@http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x5le0b@@AMEPARAM@@x5le0b

Mr. E
02-03-2010, 11:16 AM
I agree, that's the most likely scenario. Rate of decomp between submerged corpses can vary a great deal especially in freezing conditions.It would be interesting to know if the victims had drowned.

I wouldn't be surprised if they died of exposure. If I recall from the Unsolved Mysteries episode, they had been drinking. Alcohol + driving + a South Dakota winter = disaster. I used to live in SD. Even their mild winter weather is brutal.

Laura_Bean
02-03-2010, 11:20 AM
I think this is a fairly simple case. Ruby had a son with the man in the car. When the cousin asks why Ruby got out of the car, that she would not have left Ruby in there the way Ruby left her in there, is simple. The cousin says the man was not in the car when it finally came to a stop. I think he was thrown from the car when it flipped, he probably wasn't wearing his seatbelt and was thrown. That being the man Ruby loved, that being the father of Ruby's child, I think she was very concerned about what happened to him. She probably realized rather quickly he must have been thrown from the car. If he wound up in the water, and she went looking for him, she may have found him in the water and tried to pick him up, knowing he would drown. The cold would have made her sluggish, the freezing water would have set in hypothermia, and it seems he was much bigger than she was. No way she could have picked him up and gotten him back to shore if he was unconcious or even dead. She would have passed out trying to get him back to shore. If she didn't find him, but kept searching in the freezing water, the same problems would have presented themselves. Hypothermia, numbness, exhaustion, etc. I think she drowned trying to save him. The really sad part about this is if she had gotten her cousin out of the car and the two of them had searched for him together, she would have had a better shot at finding him and/or getting him out of the water without losing her own life.

smichelin
02-22-2011, 07:22 PM
I think this is a fairly simple case. Ruby had a son with the man in the car. When the cousin asks why Ruby got out of the car, that she would not have left Ruby in there the way Ruby left her in there, is simple. The cousin says the man was not in the car when it finally came to a stop. I think he was thrown from the car when it flipped, he probably wasn't wearing his seatbelt and was thrown. That being the man Ruby loved, that being the father of Ruby's child, I think she was very concerned about what happened to him. She probably realized rather quickly he must have been thrown from the car. If he wound up in the water, and she went looking for him, she may have found him in the water and tried to pick him up, knowing he would drown. The cold would have made her sluggish, the freezing water would have set in hypothermia, and it seems he was much bigger than she was. No way she could have picked him up and gotten him back to shore if he was unconcious or even dead. She would have passed out trying to get him back to shore. If she didn't find him, but kept searching in the freezing water, the same problems would have presented themselves. Hypothermia, numbness, exhaustion, etc. I think she drowned trying to save him. The really sad part about this is if she had gotten her cousin out of the car and the two of them had searched for him together, she would have had a better shot at finding him and/or getting him out of the water without losing her own life.
Originally posted by Laura:
"If he wound up in the water, and she went looking for him, she may have found him in the water and tried to pick him up, knowing he would drown. The cold would have made her sluggish, the freezing water would have set in hypothermia"

That is a really good theory, and one that I thought could of happened, except I watched the video again, and the cop stated that the ditch was frozen solid, and the car actually landed on the ice in the ditch. There was not any open water around, at all.

momtolil
02-23-2011, 01:57 PM
At first I just figured thewhole dying of exposure. But now after watching the UM video I am more under the impression there are other elements to this case.
I tend to agree with you smichelin regarding the whole frozen water idea, if the the frozen ditch could withstand the weight of a car, it would withstand the weight of two people. The tuft of Ruby's hair also poses a question. There is no way that hair would have been in such good condition and stayed intact through the winter. Very strange.

I couldn't imagine who who want to hurt these two people?? and on such short notice....who would of known the car would crash like that to give someone the opportunity to hurt them?

KarlK
02-27-2011, 10:34 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if they died of exposure. If I recall from the Unsolved Mysteries episode, they had been drinking. Alcohol + driving + a South Dakota winter = disaster. I used to live in SD. Even their mild winter weather is brutal.

So is Maine's :)

I believe that most of us living in areas with severe winters do not see a great mystery in this case. Here you have two shocked, inebriated individuals wandering away from a flipped car into a frigid winter night. I can see them passing out and never waking up, their frozen bodies eventually being dragged into the water by snowmelt. The survivor owes her life to having remained trapped in the relatively sheltered environment of the overturned vehicule, and being found in time.

KarlK
02-27-2011, 05:39 PM
I couldn't imagine who who want to hurt these two people?? and on such short notice....who would of known the car would crash like that to give someone the opportunity to hurt them?

Perhaps asking the question is answering it. Obviously the fact that the bodies were found in the water doesn't mean they had been in it the whole time, but that in itself is not very unusual. In snowy areas water levels rise dramatically to cover a much larger area in early spring, which in turn causes mudflows. If the victims died of exposure with their bodies originally lying covered in snow near the ditch it is perfectly possible that rising waters combined with shifting soil eventually pulled them back into the ditch. The degree of exposure to the elements could explain dissimilar rates of decomposition.

Unless you know the exact spot where to look for it is extremely difficult to locate bodies covered in snow once they are frozen, as they give out no scent for dogs to sniff out. Probing with sticks you can miss one by inches and never know it even when snow cover is thin. In most areas with severe winters LE agencies who are unable to locate a missing person in the wild, and once they are reasonably convinced that the person has not survived, will simply wait for the snow to melt before resuming the search, that is if the body doesn't surface in the meantime.

Ever since I saw it when it originally aired I always felt it a little odd that this incident ever appeared on Unsolved Mysteries. Since the main part of the "mystery" in this case appears to be explainable by local weather conditions IMHO the main reason why this story was featured on UM is because the producer of this particular segment was not familiar with the area's climate.

neverletgo
06-25-2013, 04:27 PM
:bump: for Arnold and Ruby. :heartbeat:

Snipped:

A witness claimed to have seen Arnold, accompanied by three other people on New Year’s Eve, almost three weeks after he was reported missing. Authorities brought the witness in for a polygraph exam. She passed.

But how did the bodies of Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Bruguier end up in the very same ditch where they crashed their car three months earlier?

http://i.imgur.com/G8mEEXa.jpg

http://stillunsolved.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/arnold-archambeau-ruby-bruguier-unsolved-mysteries/