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A group of divers have found the remains of a man who went missing 20 years ago - video

The dive group Adventures with Purpose has, as a result of their investigation, found the remains of a man who went missing nearly 20 years ago. For nearly two decades, family and investigators in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, could not determine what happened to James Amabile. The man was lost without a trace and for years
Published: March 22, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 00:19
A group of divers have found the remains of a man who went missing 20 years ago – video

The dive group Adventures with Purpose has, as a result of their investigation, found the remains of a man who went missing nearly 20 years ago.

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For nearly two decades, family and investigators in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, could not determine what happened to James Amabile. The man was lost without a trace and for years no one could find his trail. The desperate family turned to Adventures with Purpose, a dive group that undertakes missing persons searches.

Adventures with Purpose is a group of specialist divers dedicated to solving cases such as the disappearance of James Amabile. It is undoubtedly worth noting that they do this for free, out of pure passion and a desire to help. They document all their searches with video cameras and then post them on their YouTube channel. When the family of the missing man approached them, they did not hesitate to take on the tough challenge, and they did not have to wait long for the results of their work.

Divers in the water Adventures with Purpose solve the case

Just 10 h after starting their investigation, the dive group Adventures with Purpose found the solution. A case that had kept the family and Pennsylvania police officials up at night for almost 20 years was finally heading towards its conclusion. The group of divers first did a reconnaissance and interview to gather as much information as possible. They then performed a sonar search on the water, which very quickly revealed a curious object.

Sonar scans clearly showed that there was an object at the bottom of Darby Creak that was shaped like a Ford Explorer. This was the exact car James Amabile was driving on the day he went missing. Two divers from Adventures with Purpose then donned dry suits and headed under the icy water.

Although the depth was not great, as both men only plunged about 8m, the dive was difficult. The rushing waters of the creek were cold, full of various submerged features, and to top it all off, dark and murky. Fortunately, the Adventures with Purpose team use full face masks with communication and dry suits. Such kit is able to offset to some extent the hardships of diving in such a demanding environment.

Finally, the divers reached their destination. Moving slowly around the wreck, they found where the number plate should have been…

We found Jimi was the short message from under the water.

The group continued to examine the wreckage of the car. Moments later, they found the remains of missing James Amabile still stuck strapped in the driver’s seat.

Excavation of debris and protection of wreckage

The following day the Adventures with Purpose team made another dive. In consultation with the municipality and services they brought to the surface the remains of the missing man. They then secured the wreckage of the car with a special net to protect any evidence that might still be underwater.

Although the case is still far from being closed, it seems that the group of divers can record another success. One more case that has been waiting for many years has found a solution. And this means that someone’s family will finally be able to say goodbye to a loved one with dignity and close a chapter in their lives.

One hypothesis is that the cause of the accident and James Amabile’s death may have been diabetes. The man had an insulin pump implanted, and due to low blood sugar levels he could have been disoriented and lost track of where he was. Relatives were convinced that Jimi was dead, as they believe he would never have left his daughters, who were 5 and 8 years old at the time of his disappearance in 2003.

It is an absolute honour and privilege to be able to provide such a service to the families of missing persons Adventures with Purpose divers commented on the case.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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