Missing in Utah: The search for two friends who disappeared in 1985 continues Pt. 2

Missing In Utah
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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Deep in the waters of the East Canyon reservoir may be two missing young men.

Lloyd Reese and David Jaramillo disappeared in 1985 and have never been found.

But there’s renewed hope for family members as efforts to search underwater are now beginning.

“It’s the maiden voyage of Alicia,” said Jason Jensen with Utah’s Cold Case Coalition.

He sets the underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) into the water.  It has a built-in camera that will put eyes underwater.

“It has a range of 100 meters and it has an underwater camera that can take video and pictures,” Jensen said. “(And) it has its own lighting system so that it can luminate the bottom where it’s dark.”

The ROV was recently donated to the cold case coalition by a person who wanted to remain anonymous. The coalition named the camera after her daughter.

The ROV camera was recently submerged into the waters at east canyon reservoir.  

The camera’s mission was to find a vehicle that may fallen into the reservoir in 1985.

In the vehicle were two young men, Lloyd Reese and David Jaramillo. They left together after attending a gathering at a nearby campsite at the reservoir.

“The car has never been found,” said Karra Porter, co-founder of the coalition.  “At the time of night that it was, this road is very curvy and a lot of these guard rails weren’t here, so it’s a good possibility they may have gone off the roadway and into the water.”

Watching from high above were member’s of Reese’s family. Thunder Alexander was 7 years old when she begged her older brother not to go to the reservoir.  

“He looked at me and said ‘Thunder, I will be back,’” she recalled.  “And I said, ‘don’t leave, don’t leave’ and he said ‘before you even know it, I will be back. I promise.’”

But the 15-year old Reese never returned, and neither did Jaramillo, who was 21-years old.

Salt Lake City police investigated and determined they were “missing.”

The coalition decided this was the time to search the waters at the reservoir. The drought has brought water levels down by nearly 100-feet, but it is still nearly 100-feet to reach the bottom of the reservoir.

But after several hours of scanning near the shoreline, there was no sign of a vehicle. Once again, Alexander’s hopes were ruined.

“It’s been hard,” she said.  “There isn’t a day that I don’t think about him. Every single day.”

But a week later, Alexander was out on the waters of the reservoir again — this time with a different group searching much deeper into the waters.  And the divers do find something. The story continues Thursday.

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