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Divers search for cars in Martin County ponds

A diver with the Martin County Sheriff's Office searches a pond on Sept. 9, 2022.jpg
Posted at 4:03 PM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-09 17:49:51-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — It was a busy day Friday for Martin County dive teams who have been investigating tips about dumped cars in two bodies of water.

One tip came in about cars in a pond in behind the Summerfield Golf Course, south of Cove Road off U.S. 1 in Stuart.

Divers also checked out a known dump site in the canal behind Hosford Park near Kanner Highway and Cove Road.

Friday afternoon, dive teams suited up and made their way into murky water with little to no visibility, feeling their way to what was believed to be a pickup truck submerged in the water behind Hosford Park.

The dive teams were guided by deputies with scanning technology that revealed what appeared to be both a truck and a car not far from the ramp.

The truck turned out to be an old barge, too corroded and covered in barnacles to be lifted out.

The car, likely underwater for at least five years, was also too corroded to remove.

"It could be a good spot for anybody that’s just looking to get rid of a stolen vehicle," said Sgt. David Rosko with the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

It used to be a popular dumping site, according to deputies. Problems have tapered off in recent years, but decades ago, a body was pulled from a car here, which is why tips about possible dumped cars here are always checked out.

"If it was a stolen vehicle that was dumped here, there could be a person other evidence, weapons, something that could have been used in another crime," Rosko said.

Deputies cleared this site first Friday, leaving the barge and car without signs of being tied to crimes.

Then deputies checked out a pond behind the Summerfield Golf Course, where two cars were found with plates that expired around 2004, meaning they've been under here since before homes were ever built nearby.

"There was a diver, he dives the golf course there fairly regularly. He goes down and looks for golf balls. He says he’s been diving that golf course for 10, 15 years now, but stumbled upon two cars in one of the lakes there," Rosko said.

Divers will feel around for anything that might seem suspicious.

"20 years later there could still be something there," Rosko said.

By Friday afternoon, nothing had been uncovered yet to cause alarm

"This is something we try to do fairly regularly, come out and scan different areas that have deeper water," Rosko said.

Becoming most likely a good training opportunity before the inevitable next tip.