Florida Volunteer Team Uses Sonar to Solve Cold Case Mysteries

John Martin and Mike Sullivan, two half-brothers from Florida, have made a name for themselves using sonar technology to locate submerged vehicles and help solve cold case mysteries throughout the Sunshine State.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that in the last two years, the duo behind Sunshine State Sonar has discovered more than 350 cars in canals, ponds, and waterways across Florida. As weekend fishermen turned underwater detectives, Martin and Sullivan have been diving into cold cases, searching for people that disappeared. Their work is solving cold case mysteries and bringing closure to families who might never have learned what happened to their loved ones.

Sometimes, the team choose the cases themselves, following threads online, while other times, law enforcement seeks their assistance. Their efforts have led to the discovery of remains of 11 missing people inside submerged cars, providing answers to relatives who had spent years agonizing over the fate of their loved ones. One family learned that their mother, who they thought had left them, had actually accidentally driven off the road into a body of water. Another family found out that their missing relative, a teacher, had been submerged in a canal for three years.

Sullivan’s obsession with solving these cases began after binge-watching YouTube videos of a volunteer dive team in Oregon called Adventures with Purpose that searches for missing people. He realized that Florida, with its vast number of bodies of water, could benefit from a similar initiative. Despite not knowing how to scuba dive, Sullivan got certified and invested $21,000 in sonar equipment to help him locate submerged vehicles.

The stories of the missing haunt Sullivan, driving him to spend countless hours researching newspaper archives, police reports, and maps. He keeps pictures of the missing in his phone, memorizing their faces, names, and last known whereabouts. The duo spends their own money on expeditions, with Sullivan estimating that he spent $27,000 on Airbnb rentals across the state last year. Their work has brought closure to many families, including those of Sandra Lemire, a young mother who disappeared 12 years ago, and Kareem Demarzo Tisdale, who vanished 19 years ago.

Red more at the Tampa Bay Times here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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