OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — The diver who found a vehicle belonging to a woman who has been missing since 2005 is sharing how he found it. The car was found at the bottom of Melton Hill Lake and Oak Ridge Police confirm the car belonged to Miriam Ruth Hemphill who went missing in July 2005.
The diver who found the car, Jeremy Sides, actually does this for a living. He’s a certified diver who has a military background and a YouTube channel dedicated to helping solve cold cases. Sides is from Georgia. He actually found out about the story of Miriam Ruth Hemphill by searching for cold cases online.
“I ended up coming across her case and it touched me and caught my attention more than the other ones mainly because she went missing in her car. She left a note, I don’t know what was on the note, but it was alluding to her daughter’s suicide.”
Hemphill was last seen in July 2005. Her husband reported her missing after she never returned home from a day out.
Jeremy Sides explained, “I pretty much just went there and just started sonaring the river until I found some cars and we started finding some cars and the third one we found was hers.”
When Hemphill went missing, so did her car. Police suspected she may have driven into a nearby lake, but couldn’t find any evidence until now.
Once he realized it was Hemphill’s car, he called Oak Ridge Police. Crews then worked to pull the car out of the water. Sides adds, “the car, it was such a perfect shot. It was amazing that she’d been sitting there for 16 years and nobody else saw this car just sitting there with their sonar, but there’s just a lot of variables.”
Some of those variables include the equipment he used to find the car. He explained that some of it did not exist in 2005 when Hemphill went missing.
The former Navy Veteran said he just wants to bring some closure to families of cold case victims. “It feels good to be able to help someone. It’s always been in my blood to want to go beyond myself to help somebody else out.”
Oak Ridge Police have confirmed that there are human remains in the car and they are working to identify them. In the meantime, police want anyone with information that might help in the process to call 865-425-4399. You can also submit tips at the ORPD website. you do not have to give your name to help out.