Owner says recovered muscle car just a skeleton

Owner says recovered muscle car just a skeleton »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The battle over the stolen muscle car took a new turn. Deputies seized the car, but the 1970 'Cuda is now just a skeleton.

"Just about everything that could be unbolted, unscrewed, undone is gone," said Rick White, the car's original owner, who bought it knew back in 1970.

"To walk in and see a shell of what was our Cuda, just takes your breath away. We were all speechless," said Jackie White, Rick's wife.

KATU first showed you the story on July 17. The Whites located their stolen car near Troutdale last month, 13 years after it was stolen. But police first told them they could not seize the car because the statute of limitations had passed.

The Whites refiled the police report, and police said that allowed them to reopen the case and get a search warrant to get the car.

The Whites viewed the car on Thursday, their first time since the car was stolen.

"We were pre-warned that it wasn't in the proper condition. But I wasn't quite ready for what I saw," said Rick White. He was overcome with emotion and was not able to continue.

The Whites said the car is missing its engine, transmission, front end, gas tank, bumpers, locks, license plates, seats, steering wheel and more.

"It was real heartbreaking to see it in that condition, because it certainly didn't leave our house in that condition," said Jackie White.

The Whites said they want to know where the missing parts are.

The Problem Solvers contacted Lee Sitton, the man who had the car when deputies seized it, and asked him if he had the missing parts.

He did not answer the question directly, but eventually said he was willing to give the parts back to the Whites.

Sitton said he took the car apart to restore it.

The Whites said they want to know when Sitton took the car apart.

Sitton did not give a direct answer to the Problem Solvers, but said that he took the car apart before police contacted him about the car last month.

The Problem Solvers told Rick White that Sitton was willing to give him the parts back.

"It's a start," said Rick White, "If everything comes back."

He said it could take as much as $100,000 to restore the Cuda from its current condition to the way it was when it was stolen; money he does not have.