Special team of divers searching Allegheny River finds 100 cars, hoping to close cold cases

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Channel 11 got a firsthand look from the water as two dive teams try to find answers.

Adventures with Purpose and Chaos divers found one body Saturday in the Allegheny River, that of 54-year-old Todd Diminno, but the search isn’t over.

“On Friday we discovered over 100 vehicles here underwater,” said Doug Bishop, lead diver.

They don’t know how that many cars ended up here, but they have their suspicions.

“Organized crime from over the years of car dumping and so forth can really be the only thing that could explain so many cars within such a region,” Bishop said.

Now they’re going through each one looking for leads.

“With VIN numbers, license plates, make and model identifiers and so forth, we’ll process that with Pittsburgh PD, cold case detectives, homicide detectives and so forth to make sure we know exactly what it is that we’re dealing with,” Bishop explained.

The divers originally came here looking for missing person Janet Walsh from Shaler and for Bunnie Lee, who has been missing from Homewood since 2013.

Lee’s son Bruce spoke to 11 News by phone today.

“You have to make some assumptions after you know nine years that maybe he’s not with us anymore, so you never really get closure,” he said.

Divers will be extra vigilant looking for Lee’s car, and his son is holding on to hope.

“That’s our purpose, you know, is to find those answers, to find the mysteries that lurk beneath the surfaces of our nation’s waters,” Bishop said.

“It gives us hope,” Lee’s son said. “That’s the most painful piece of it right now is not being able to come to closure.”

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