A scuba diving YouTuber may have uncovered the cold case of two Tennessee teens who went missing 21 years ago after discovering the car they were last seen in at the bottom of a local river .
Erin Foster, 18, and Jeremy Bechtel, 17, went missing on April 3, 2000, after leaving Foster’s home, according to the White County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff Steve Page said in a press release that members of Foster’s family alerted him on November 28 about YouTuber Jeremy Beau Sides, who uses sonar technology and underwater dives to try and resolve the issues. cases of missing persons on his “Exploring With Nug” channel.
He came to Sparta, Tennessee, last month to search for the car the teenagers were last seen in.
Page contacted Sides and told him to look around Route 84 in the Calfkiller River, in the area where the couple went missing.
On November 30, Sides searched this area and discovered a vehicle – Foster’s rusted Pontiac Grand Am submerged in the river.
Page and investigators arrived at the scene and said the vehicle matched Foster’s, the sheriff said in a press release.
Human remains were found in the vehicle and will be sent for genetic DNA testing and potential comparisons with dental records, investigators said at CBS’s Nashville affiliate WTVF. The families of Foster and Bechtel have been notified of the discovery.
“I’m at a loss for words. I’m so glad I was able to find them. I’m so sad that’s where they ended up. Can’t believe – they’ve been waiting for over 20 years for someone to find them, ”Sides said in his YouTube video.
“I give Jeremy credit for finding this car. All I did was kind of point it in the right direction, and he got in the water and found them,” he said. Sheriff Page told NBC News “It’s so good to be able to put an end to these families.”
Page said a search for the river will continue on Thursday with divers coming from other counties to help.
“We’re not sure we have the right teens yet, but we believe we do,” he told NBC News, noting that the remains were pending identification by the medical examiner.
Page said it initially appeared the teens got into the water by accident, but the investigation is ongoing.
Divers had previously searched the waters, according to Page. “They were probably less than an eighth of a mile from where the car was found. They just never went around the car, ”he said.
He noted that there are now guardrails around the river, but there were none in 2000.