Real Names: Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Ann Bruguier
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Lake Andes, South Dakota
Date: December 12, 1992
Details: Arnold Archambeau, twenty, and Ruby Bruguier, nineteen, were a Yankton Sioux couple who had started dating in high school. In 1991, they became parents of an infant daughter. On December 11, 1992, they, along with Ruby's seventeen-year-old cousin, Tracy Dion, went on an all-night partying spree. Shortly before 6am on December 12th, they arrived at Tracy's home where they had left the baby with Tracy's father. He advised them to come back later, since they had been drinking. Just a few minutes later, they were involved in a horrible car accident in Lake Andes, South Dakota where they lived.
The driver, Arnold, suddenly steered the car into a frozen ditch. Tracy and Ruby were inside the overturned car while Arnold was nowhere to be found. Ruby managed to escape, but didn't help Tracy out for whatever reason. Luckily, paramedics arrived a short time later and managed to pull her out and save her life. She stated all three had been drinking the night of the accident. Police Deputy Bill Youngstrom conducted a search for Arnold and Ruby as soon as he arrived at the scene, but they were nowhere to be found. At first, Deputy Youngstrom believed that they had vanished intentionally due to the DWI laws. However, their families did not believe that they would disappear voluntarily.
Deputy Youngstrom spent several months searching for Arnold and Ruby, to no avail. In early March 1993, a passing driver saw a decomposed body in the frozen ditch seventy-five feet from where Arnold's car had crashed months earlier: it was Ruby's. Her glasses and shoes were nowhere to be found, but her clothes remained intact. The police pumped the ditch out and at noon the next day, they found Arnold's body submerged in the water, about fifteen feet away from where Ruby's was found. His was not as decomposed as hers was: His skin tone was fine, he was not frozen to the ground, and neither were his clothes. Deputy Youngstrom is not certain if they were the ones that he was wearing on the night of the accident.
Police did not understand how both bodies were in two very different stages of decomposition when it was assumed they died at the same time. It was expected that they would have decomposed at the same rate. An autopsy later determined that they died of exposure. However, the time of death could not be determined.
Investigators found other strange clues at the scene. A tuft of hair was found that was determined to be Ruby's. Deputy Youngstrom does not believe that it could have stayed there for three months. A set of car keys were also found in Arnold's pocket. One was for a car and two were for houses. Investigators could not determine where they came from.
A witness claimed to have seen Arnold and three other people on New Year's Eve, almost three weeks after the accident. The witness even took a polygraph test and passed which indicated she had not lied about seeing Arnold on New Year's Eve. Interestingly, the three people in the car failed their polygraph tests. Ruby's father, Quentin, believed that she and Arnold were victims of foul play and that the killer murdered them elsewhere and put their bodies back in the ditch to make it seem like they died there.
It is still unknown if Arnold and Ruby were victims of a homicide or an accident. A $5,000 reward is being offered in the case.
Suspects: None known, although authorities have been unable to locate two men who were seen near the ditch just a few hours before the bodies were discovered. They were driving a dark, blazer-style vehicle.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 14, 1995 episode.
Results: Unresolved. The FBI closed this case in 1999; they found no evidence of foul play and felt that Arnold and Ruby died accidentally. However, some officers involved in this case, along with Arnold and Ruby's families, still believe that foul play was involved. At the very least, they believe that Arnold and Ruby died elsewhere and the bodies were placed in the ditch. Ruby's father, Quentin, died on October 17, 2001.
- Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Bruguier on Unsolved.com
- Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Bruguier on Still Unsolved
- Police puzzled by disappearance of couple - March 7, 1993
- Body of missing woman located - March 11, 1993
- Second body found in Lake Andes area - March 12, 1993
- Bodies in ditch dropped off, authorities say - March 14, 1993
- Lake Andes deaths linked to exposure - March 17, 1993
- Lake Andes deaths remain a mystery - November 26, 1993
- Investigation of Lake Andes deaths yields few clues - February 14, 1994
- Unsolved Mysteries segment to take look at Lake Andes case - February 20, 1995
- Between the lines - case closed - September 18, 1999
- South Dakota sheriff retires from work after 28 years - March 7, 2011
- Into the Unknown - February 25, 2019
- Ruby Bruguier on Find a Grave