DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - More than a dozen vehicles have been found at the bottom of a South Florida lake and investigators are fishing them out in hopes of solving some old cases.
Tuesday, a Bentley was pulled out from what seems to be an underwater car cemetery.
Secrets hide deep in waterways across South Florida and some were newly discovered in Broward County on Tuesday.
“Waterways is a pretty common place for vehicles or evidence or anything to go missing, if you’re either trying to hide it or stay hidden,” said Alexander Beer, chief diver of the Broward Sheriff’s Office dive rescue team.
At times, cars go missing, sometimes with a passenger or driver inside.
Allison McManus started an organization, Guardians for the Missing, after her nephew went missing in 2006.
“My family had to hire a helicopter. We hired divers. We did everything we could to locate him,” said McManus. “After six months, Broward Sherriff’s Office did finally locate him in a canal off U.S. 27.”
Now she helps those who have missing loved ones, like Steven Mackrell, who went missing in 2015.
“We search waterways, canals, ponds, lakes, wherever the area they were last seen or where we think they were headed,” said McManus. “I have a small boat with side scan sonar. I have a diver that comes out and helps me.”
Her group searched Sailboat Lake in Deerfield Beach and encountered several cars. BSO responded to the area to get the vehicles out.
“Know that there are at least eight vehicles in this lake, behind me. There’s another lake to my left that have a few more vehicles in it,” said Beer. “Probably the number one challenge is visibility. Normally we’re working in very low to no visibility, meaning that you can see six inches in front of your face on a good day.”
Once the car is found, a tow cable is attached in order to pull it out of the water. Many times the vehicle is the missing piece to solving cold cases.
“So they can be stolen vehicles that were used in a crime, vehicles that were used as we see in the news all the time on hit-and-runs, trying to hide the evidence,” said Beer.
For McManus, finding these cars gives her purpose and many other families closure.
“If there are any other families out there that have family members that are missing, 20, 30 years, and once they found my nephew, I felt the need to have to give back,” said McManus.
Some lakes can be up to 20-25 feet deep, which makes it a very difficult job for divers, as it does take time to find vehicles in the low visibility of the murky waters.
According to McManus, they don’t believe they found the missing vehicle of Steven Mackrell who went missing in Pompano Beach but may find something in another lake in order to give the family hope for some closure or answers.
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