Team effort in search and dive operation for missing person

From the King County Sheriff’s newsletter

On October 10 and 11, the Marine Rescue Dive Unit (MRDU) conducted extensive search and dive operations in support of Major Crimes (MCU). A vehicle belonging to a missing female was located in the Five Mile Lake parking lot and keys for the vehicle were located on a foot path leading to the lake. Several personal items were found in the car. The potential was likely the missing female may be found in or near the lake.

MRDU, MCU, and King County Search and Rescue (KCSAR) conducted a joint search of the lake and surrounding area. MRDU deployed both a side-scan sonar and a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), and KCSAR provided cadaver dogs. 

Detective Aaron Thompson (MCU) worked his dog along the bank, while MRDU personnel simultaneously deployed the side-scan sonar and ROV, navigating the lake with a dog perched on the bow.

The intent was to identify or narrow search areas with the dogs, utilize the side-scan sonar, and then locate targets with the ROV. Despite the dogs showing interest and giving alerts several times, the results of the search were negative.

MRDU returned the following day and conducted diver exercises. Despite significant debris and very poor visibility, divers were able to confirm all areas of interest were clear.

While the missing female was not located during this search, it was an impressive display of teamwork and capability. Fortunately, the missing person was later found some days later in the woods adjacent to the park. The Mobile Crisis Team responded and assisted her into a treatment facility.