As they washed the muck off their gear, members of the Martin County dive team reflected on a search that was anything but easy.
“With what we do, if you miss by an inch, you miss by a mile,” says dive team member Justin Lundstedt. “You might as well not find anything.”
Dive team members say today's search for evidence in the Tricia Todd case was a methodical one.
This dive team has been together for years, and they say that teamwork was a major key Wednesday.
They needed that teamwork, as conditions below the surface were anything but ideal.
“The muck was just 2 to 3 feet, if not more, deep,” says diver Steve Franklin.
That element, along with the potential for wildlife—including alligators in the area - providing a big challenge.
Members of the Fish and Wildlife Commission were at the ready - in case things took a turn.
“You just have to be careful, cause you never know when an alligator is going to pop up on you,” Franklin says. “That's why we had precautions out there.”
Divers say most of their work is normally done by feeling around in water that is nearly pitch black, but Wednesday they caught a bit of a break.
“Today we actually were lucky enough to have at times up to a foot of visibility today which helped us out tremendously,” Lundstedt says.
Justin also says he was lucky to make a major find.
“I almost missed that set of pliers today to be honest with you,” Lundstedt says. “Caught it right out the corner of my eye, went over to it. At first I thought it was just a stick sticking out. There was only a inch of the plier sticking out of the muck.”
The circumstances of the Todd case made their work especially difficult.
“It’s kinda the last thing you think of before you go to bed, and it's the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning,” Lundstedt says.
“Nobody deserves to have done to them what happened to her.”