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At one point, it looked like something out of a Hollywood murder mystery, but in the end not so much as a car salvage operation in Youngstown didn’t quite turn out as planned.
The incident actually started last weekend when volunteers with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Dive Team thought they had stumbled across something big during a training exercise: A submerged vehicle. Divers were back at McKelvey Lake on the East Side Friday morning, searching an area about 30 yards from the Jacobs Road Bridge.
They spent about two hours hooking cables to a vehicle that was submerged in approximately 25 or 30 feet of dark, murky water. But when they finally managed to get it to shore, the old, rusted Chevy Monte Carlo wasn’t exactly what they were planning to recover.
“I don’t believe this is the car. My divers told me it was an SUV. It had a wheel on the back of it, was something like a Jeep, or maybe even a Hummer. But not a car,” said Capt. Bill Hack of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team.
Detectives from both the Sheriff’s Department and Youngstown police wanted the SUV brought out to see if it might have been stolen or might contain a body or some other crime scene evidence they could use. As a precaution, firefighters did pop the car’s trunk and found only fishing tackle inside.
Divers said they do plan to go back to McKelvey Lake this weekend to make another attempt at finding that SUV.
Hack said divers have found a lot of things in the lake over the years.
“Its a lot of stuff in here. We get out here every time. We’ve also found a gun, we’ve found 11knives, we’ve found flash bombs,” he said.
“The tow truck didn’t have enough cable with it. We had to carry chains out, and you know, carrying a 25-foot chain and a 15-foot chain is really heavy to get out there,. so that’s where our downfall came from,” Hack said.