The Miami-Dade Police Department is in the process of recovering numerous vehicles submerged in a lake located in Doral, Florida, which they believe might help solve cold cases.
The initial discovery of the vehicles was made by a team of volunteer divers who were investigating a missing person cold case. The submerged treasure trove has ignited speculation about potential connections to old criminal cases, including stolen vehicles and possibly even homicides.
The story began with volunteer divers Ken Fleming and Doug Bishop, who were searching for a missing person as part of their nonprofit organization United Search Corps.
“We have a case where someone drove from Pinellas County down to pick up their relatives at the airport, and then they disappeared,” Fleming explained.
While delving into a lake nestled in an industrial park west of Miami, the pair stumbled upon no less than 32 vehicles resting beneath the water’s surface. The divers swiftly alerted local law enforcement, triggering the Miami-Dade Police Department’s involvement in the retrieval effort.
The vehicles, some of which date back to the 1990s, appear to be tied to stolen car reports. The first car extracted from the lake, a vintage Acura Legend last manufactured in 1995, confirmed this connection to stolen vehicles.
Additionally, vehicles such as a Ford Econoline van, Cadillac Sedan DeVille, and Ford Crown Vic were retrieved from the depths, all of which have been linked to stolen vehicle cases dating as far back as 1996.
The lake’s location, in close proximity to Miami International Airport and with easy accessibility, has led Fleming and Bishop to theorize that it might have served as a dumping ground for criminal activities over the years.
“When we discover a spot like this with multiple vehicles, it pretty much indicates that a crime where they’re disposing the vehicles and hiding them from law enforcement,” Fleming remarked.
The police anticipate that more vehicles will surface, though the exact number remains elusive due to low visibility in the water.
Miami-Dade Police spokesperson Alvaro Zabaleta acknowledged that the submerged cars are likely older models, discarded prior to the establishment of the commercial complex that now surrounds the lake.
However, Zabaleta did not dismiss the possibility of uncovering evidence related to cold cases, including both homicides and missing persons.
“We’re not gonna discard the possibility of some type of fraud that also can occur and some other type of foul play like a homicide,” Zabaleta asserted.
The department now plans to continue its investigation of the recovered vehicles for any potential leads.