After Citizen's Tip, a Big Find in a South Florida Lake

Investigators looking into missing-persons cold cases find 32 vehicles submerged in Doral
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2023 8:50 AM CDT
Updated Aug 13, 2023 3:30 PM CDT

Divers in South Florida on the hunt for evidence tied to missing-persons cold cases have hundreds of sites on their "to search" list—but they may have just hit the motherlode at one location. CNN reports that a diving team from the nonprofit United Search Corps found 32 cars in a lake in Doral over the weekend, and multiple agencies are now involved in helping to retrieve them from the water. "As of this time, it is unknown if these vehicles are linked to criminal activity [or] how long the vehicles have been submerged in the lake," Doral police said, though they believe some of the cars may have been underwater for decades, reports CBS Miami.

A rep from the Miami-Dade Police Department says a red flag was raised about the lake after a private citizen who was diving there spotted some of the cars and alerted authorities. United Search Corps founder Doug Bishop says the vehicles they discovered don't seem to be linked to any of the particular cold cases his team was investigating, and he adds that his team didn't come across any human remains. Officials say many of the vehicles were stolen or may have been tied to fraud cases.

They also say the area is a known "hot spot" for dumping cars, per CBS Miami. USA Today notes the site is in an industrial area not far from Miami International Airport. "When we discover a spot like this with multiple vehicles, it pretty much indicates a crime area where they're disposing the vehicles and hiding them from law enforcement," diver Ken Fleming tells WSVN. Miami-Dade County police say they're investigating, and that the vehicle identification numbers on the cars will help determine which department will look into each case. (More strange stuff stories.)

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