Divers find 13 vehicles in Texas Lake while searching for man

Divers called in by a Texas sheriff to help search a lake for the remains of a man missing since 2009 recently made another kind of eye-opening discovery, authorities said — more than a dozen sunken vehicles.

The discovery came after a three-day search for Lake Whitney, a flood reservoir and popular fishing spot about halfway between Fort Worth and Waco, the Bosque County sheriff said in a Facebook post on Monday.

But the missing man, John Creech, who was last seen near his home in Meridian, Texas, has still not been found by county and state investigators.

The Bosque County Sheriff’s Office reopened a missing person case related to the disappearance of Mr. Creech, who would now be 53, in November. The Texas Rangers, the state’s elite law enforcement unit, were also called in as part of the cold case investigation.

Sheriff Trace Hendricks said in the Facebook post that investigators working on a tip that Mr Creech’s remains may be in the lake discovered more than a dozen sunken vehicles during the three-day search, which began on Tuesday. Friday started.

Sheriff Hendricks was out of office this week due to coronavirus protocols and not immediately available to answer additional questions, an aide said Thursday.

The sheriff had contacted Adventures With Purpose, a team of divers that began searching for old cars in 2019 as a way to clean up the environment, to help with the search about two months ago, said Jared Leisek, the founder of the group, on Thursday.

Mr Leisek, 46, declined to provide details about the car or items they found, but shared that officials “suspect foul play”.

Using three different types of monitors on their boat, Mr. Leisek a total of 13 vehicles: seven on the southwest side of the Lake Whitney dam; five submerged in the reservoir at a depth of 30 to 65 feet; and one on the other side, Hill County side of the dam.

Diving into the murky waters of the reservoir allowed the team to examine the seven cars on the southwest side of the dam and pull two out, Mr. leisek. The other five vehicles in Bosque County waters could not be searched because the divers did not have enough oxygen to reach those depths.

“The vehicles we dived and found were all 30 to 40 years old or older,” he said, “The vehicle in question we were looking for had to stay underwater for 13 years, more or less..”

Cars that have been in the water for more than three decades look like “Swiss cheese,” he explained, making it difficult to examine them, let alone get them out of the water.

But the fact that the cars next to the dam were not at the bottom of Lake Whitney, where sediment and debris accumulate, made it easier to examine them, he explained.

If the divers don’t find what they’re looking for “on the first try,” Mr. Leisek, they often find answers after uploading their search materials to YouTube. Viewers “then help web sleuths play with us,” added Mr. Leisek. He explained that viewers can provide more details on where to look, which he hoped would be the case this time around.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety, which also includes the Rangers, referred questions about the case to the Bosque County Sheriff on Wednesday.

According to KXXV-TV, a local ABC station, Mr. Creech disappeared around April 2009. Mr. Creech’s family said he was last seen at his home just outside Meridian, a town about 20 miles southwest of Lake Whitney.

Mr. Creech’s car, Mr. Leisek said, was found at a Walmart in Hillsboro, Texas, shortly after it was reported missing.

Very little is still known about the events leading up to Mr. creech. Attempts to reach his relatives were not immediately successful.

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