Monday, December 18, 2006

Protest planned to convice BSO that canal sweeps may find missing people

The following are excerpts from a Sun-Sentinel article dated December 17, 2006.

"...Missing Children International Ministries, based in Pembroke Pines, wants the Broward Sheriff's Office to search the canal for cars and bodies but said detectives and officials keep brushing them off."

CLARIFICATION: The Broward Sheriff's Office searches canals almost daily. Our helicopters fly over canals and search for submerged vehicles from the air. Since the dark, murky water makes it difficult to see more than a few feet below the surface, BSO pilots are trained to spot other signs such as oil slicks, broken guard rails or tire tracks leading to the water. The location of any discovered car is passed to the BSO Dive Team which investigates every single report.

The diving conditions in these canals are among the most difficult faced under water. Visibility is zero. Divers are unable to see their hands in front of their faces. Dangerous chemicals polute the waters along with leaking fluids from the submerged cars.

In addition to our regular patrols, BSO is also staging a major operation in January with insurance officials to recover stolen cars in area canals.

"...Perry said she thinks the dark water of the area's canals could hold the answers to the mystery surrounding scores of disappearances, especially cases where the missing person's car vanished, too."

CLARIFICATION: The facts are that the majority of submerged cars are dumped by car thieves, or car owners looking to defraud their auto insurance company. In nearly 20 years, BSO divers have rarely recovered a body during a random canal sweep. All the victims that have been located have been part of an active investigation or the result of specific tips that led divers to a specific location.