Oak Ridge, TN

YouTube Diver Finds Human Remains at the Bottom of Tennessee Lake

Gillian Sisley

The car and remains have been connected to a 2005 cold case.

A community in Oak Ridge, Tennessee is reeling after a YouTube diver, who specializes in trying to solve cold cases on his channel, found a car connected to a missing person from 2005.

The car was registered to Miriam Ruth Hemphill, an elderly woman who was originally reported missing back in July 2005.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System states that Hemphill was last seen by her husband driving away in a 1999 Buick LeSabre.

From YouTuber to Crime Solver

YouTuber Jared Sides has been running a YouTube channel to try and solve cold cases for some time now. With the use of a SONAR boat over Melton Hill Lake, Sides was able to discover seven cars at the bottom.

From there, he goes on to say that he and his team started to investigate the cars submerged at the bottom. The third car they stumbled upon is the one police pulled out of the lake, which is said to be connected to Hemphill’s disappearance. Police began processing the car on Thursday, November 11th.

A final attempt at closure for those who have always wondered.

Sides states that one of the biggest reasons he and his team embark on these diving missions is to try and find answers and provide closure to the families.

But what Sides also conveyed was that authorities who had investigated Hemphill’s disappearance back in 2005 were also desperate for answers.

The YouTuber told 10 News:

“There’s a couple of cops that were soon to retire. They really wanted to know where she was before they retired.”

By Thursday afternoon, police confirmed that they did find human remains inside the car.

Is this truly Miriam Ruth Hemphill?

Forensic anthropologist, Dr. Bill Bass, has worked hundreds of crime scenes in his career. He expressed to 10 News that at this point there will be very little of the body left to identify whether or not it is the elderly woman.

“Your best bet is teeth. It’s a puzzle, I’m going to give you these few bones, you tell me who it is.”

Bass also said that if there are no dental records available it will make the job of identifying the body far more difficult. From there, coroners can use bones for any signs of surgery or fractures that may have been unique to Hemphill, and compare those to medical records to figure out whether or not the body is hers.

At this point, no official identification has been made, and it is likely that any announcement on identification will be several months away.

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