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Local divers use their skills to search for those missing

A group of local divers donate their time and expertise to help search local lakes and ponds for those who have gone missing.

SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. — People go missing all the time. 

For cases that have gone cold, some local scuba divers search local waterways to see if they can help law enforcement find clues to those who have gone missing. 

Recently this group was in Sumter county looking into a cold case from 2017. 

Jeremy Sides, one of the three divers on the team,  says their YouTube discovery videos were originally like a treasure hunt.  But then Sides discovered a car in Tennessee.  That discovery helped close a case that was over twenty years old and for him the whole dynamic changed. 

Sides is  in Sumter with two other divers, Adam Brown, who works at WLTX in their promotions department, and Britain Lockhart. 

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Sides says helping law enforcement and searching for clues for missing people  feels like the right thing to be doing, "I got all of these cool electronics and scuba gear, " he said.   

He loves diving and making videos on YouTube and now for him it's turned into a career.   Something more than just entertainment or a hobby.    

For Sides, this has a feeling of the case in Tennessee.    

Someone leaves a place-friends house, party and then they or their car are never seen again.  It's as if they have fallen off the face of the world. 

He says that searches are always carried out on land and sometimes small bodies of water might be passed over because no one can search them. 

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Using information from the cases to develop a plan for looking, Sides says they start looking where the cell phone last pinged.  They also consider reports from  eyewitnesses as to which direction the missing person was headed in. 

Once they work up a route of travel they begin to look for any areas of water. They use rafts, scanners, cameras and if they get a signal, then they will dive.  

The group isn't sharing the name of the person they are looking for simply because they don't want to get the families hopes up but local law enforcement is aware. 


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