The Mysterious Deaths Of Arnold Archambeau And Ruby Bruguier Explained

As reported by Unsolved Mysteries, in 1993 19-year-old Ruby Bruguier, along with her boyfriend, 20-year-old Arnold Archambeau, had been missing since their car accident that previous December. Bruguier was the first to be found, in a ditch less than 100 feet from where the accident happened, wearing the same clothes she had on the night of the wreck, her body badly decomposed and nearly unrecognizable. A short distance away, Archambeau's body was also discovered. Unlike Bruguier, though, his body and clothing had suffered less decomposition. What's more, keys were found on Archambeau's body — not to his vehicle, or to his house — exactly what keys they were was never determined.

The coroner declared that both Bruguier and Archambeau died from exposure, which was plausible given the circumstances of the accident some months earlier. A tuft of Bruguier's hair was also found along the roadway. Curiously, however, after the two young residents of the nearby Yankton Sioux Indian Reservation were reported missing, police searched the area where the bodies of Brugier and Archambeau were ultimately discovered — and found nothing. For this reason, Charles Mix County Sheriff's Department Bill Youngstrom found the coroner's report unconvincing, saying "It's impossible that they could have been there the entire three months. I myself personally walked that ditch several times during that period ... They couldn't have been there. They couldn't have been missed," according to Unsolved Mysteries.

The night of the accident

Per Only in Your State, Arnold Archambeau and Ruby Bruguier were drinking the night of the car crash. Also in the car was Archambeau's teenage cousin, Tracy Dion. She survived the accident, and recalls what happened. After spinning out, probably on ice, and landing in the ditch, she was upside down, still in the car. Bruguier was also in the car, crying, but Archambeau was gone. According to Unsolved Mysteries, Ruby managed to escape the vehicle, but closed the door behind her, leaving Dion trapped. After EMTs arrived, she was extricated from the vehicle, but her cousin and his girlfriend were nowhere to be found.

Sheriff's deputy Bill Youngstrom remembers the search, scouring nearby railroad tracks and a lake. He was fearful the young couple were dazed following the accident, wandered off, and fell through the ice. Archambeau and Bruguier were finally found that spring, in the area that had previously been covered by the authorities' search. As reported by Unsolved Mysteries, Youngstrom's first thought at the time of the accident was, "Maybe Arnold was out drinking and didn't want to get arrested, so we figured he'd show up in a few days." Archambeau's aunt, Karen Tuttle, agreed, "I knew he wouldn't hide, he would've come home to us or called us and told us I'm over here, don't worry about me. But we never heard anything from him."

A sighting

The Charles Mix County Sheriff's department was following every possible lead when an incredible tip was received. According to Only in Your State, Arnold Archambeau was reportedly seen, alone, at a New Year's Eve party, just a matter of weeks after his disappearance. Submitting to a polygraph, the witness passed. Also notable, two men were seen near the ditch a short time prior to the discovery of the bodies. They have never been found. The differing stages of decomposition between Archambeau and Bruguier, and the mysterious set of keys found with Archambeau, also remain unexplained.

The official story as agreed upon by the local coroner and the FBI is that the two young lovers died from exposure. No motive for foul play has ever been uncovered. It's likely Archambeau could have been thrown from the car, leaving Bruguier so disoriented after the accident that she left Dion behind. Some close to the case remain unconvinced. As Bruguier's own father, Quentin Bruguier, put it, "They had to die someplace else. Somebody had to come and put them back in there again, to make it look like that's where they died," according to Unsolved Mysteries.