SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The day started with hope but ended in despair.
And for Thunder Alexander, it’s not the first time. For 36-years, she’s been seeking answers to what happened to her older brother.
Wednesday, a team of divers from an organization that calls itself “Adventures with a purpose” began diving into the waters near the dam itself. Last week, the Utah Cold Coalition also conducted an underwater search at the dam.
“So our mission in East Canyon reservoir is to look into the 36-year-old cold case,” said Doug Bishop, a member of the team.
“Adventures with a purpose” travel nationwide looking for submered vehicles that were involved in a possible crime.
Actually, they began their search the day before, using sonar to detect any vehicles in the water.
“We got here and we conducted a thorough sonar search, which is what we specialize in,” Bishop said. “And in doing so, we did locate a vehicle in the federal area of the dam.”
Watching with great interest are family members of Lloyd Reese. They were in a boat a few hundred yards from the location where a vehicle was detected.
“It means a lot to me to be able to be out there and be a part of it,” said Reese’s sister Thunder Alexander. “I’m happy to be right there along the side of them while they’re doing what they do.”
But even before they unloaded their boats, the team got authorization from the federal Bureau of Reclamation, which controls the dam. After getting approval, they arrived in Utah prepared to help two families.
After detecting a vehicle, the crew geared up for a dive.
“We dove on it,” said diver Samuel Ginn. “It was not the vehicle in question; it was a Toyota 4-runner. It was very well silted in. When we attached it and tried lifting it up, it just ripped apart.”
They managed to bring the vehicle’s door to shore. After authorities tracked down the vin number, they soon realized the vehicle may have been stolen. It wasn’t connected to any homicide.
It was a rare setback for members of “Adventures with a Purpose.” This year, the group helped solve 10 cold cases, but they’ll try one more place before calling it quits in Utah.
“In helping Thunder and her family as well as David’s, we come in and look at what other location could be from where they were partying up here and their home,” said siver Jared Leisik. “Right now, you have Pine View reservoir.
That’s if Reese and Lloyd actually traveled in that direction to reach Salt Lake City. Authorities have yet to pinpoint any witness who saw the two friends leave in a given direction.
Leisik said he is quite certain the vehicle is not in the East Canyon reservoir. Thursday, the crew searched the Pineview Reservoir but did not detect anything.
It’s another disappointment for Alexander who was only 7 years old when her older brother disappeared.
“I will be sad when they leave because it means I’m back to doing it by myself,” Alexander said.
So where does Alexander turn to next? Friday, in our final segment, there’s a woman who may actually know.