Lead diver and investigator talks about finding Jed Hall’s vehicle in the Snake River
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IDAHO FALLS — A member of a search team who located a missing teen’s vehicle in the Snake River Sunday said he has never worked the case before and found the car in 20 minutes.
Doug Bishop is a lead diver and lead investigator with Adventures With Purpose, a company based in Oregon. Adventures With Purpose has been around for about five years and is an underwater sonar search and recovery dive team.
The team travels the nation investigating cold cases and helping families and law enforcement. Adventures With Purpose has over two million YouTube subscribers.
Bishop came to Idaho Falls on Sunday with his team to help in the Matthew “Jed” Hall case.
When Jed was 16, he left his parent’s home on Jan. 22, 2018. In the days, weeks and years that followed, Idaho Falls police detectives searched for Jed, who vanished in his 2009 gray Nissan Versa hatchback. He took a 9mm handgun and camping/survival-type gear with him. Jed reportedly left a note indicating he may attempt suicide.
“We came into this like we come into all cases. We determine if someone is missing and if someone is missing with a vehicle. We specialize in sonar the way that law enforcement doesn’t have the capability,” Bishop explained. “Do we have a cellphone ping, a last known location? Locations that are frequented, etc. That’s how we base the waterways that we need to search and that’s how we choose those waterways.”
In this case, the last known place where Jed’s cellphone pinged four years ago was near the Snake River.
Bishop said he and his team started the search on Sunday at 9 a.m. just south of the Johns Hole boat ramp. Within 20 minutes, Adventures With Purpose discovered a vehicle underwater about 75 yards down from the boat ramp in just 8 feet of water.
Both of Jed’s parents, Amy and Allen Hall, were present during the search with Adventures With Purpose.
“No true words can describe their reaction (when the vehicle was being pulled out of the river). As a parent of a 16-year-old that’s still hoping that their son is going to drive down the driveway any day still, seeing the vehicle that they have been looking for, for four years for the first time — no true words can describe that,” said Bishop.
Human remains were found inside the vehicle that are currently awaiting positive identification and evidentiary processing of the vehicle is in progress, according to the Idaho Falls Police Department.
“Confirming there are remains in there – it’s a whirlwind. It’s a hurricane of emotions. The only words I could give to Amy and Allen is that I am sorry. I am absolutely sorry,” Bishop said.
He explained to EastIdahoNews.com that the human remains were discovered in the rear of the vehicle.
“(It) is common in any scenario where someone does not have a seatbelt on. If you don’t have a seatbelt on, the body will move around the vehicle,” he said.
He said there is evidence that Jed’s vehicle has been in the water since he disappeared four years ago.
“There was scientific proof that the vehicle has been there for that long,” he said. “There was nothing alarming about the vehicle other than the front end rear window was out which is strictly due to current, extreme temperatures there in Idaho Falls in the winters and the debris that floats down the river. It was what it would have looked like in other scenarios that we’ve dealt with.”
As for Amy and Allen, Bishop hopes that finding the vehicle and the human remains will provide some answers.
“There are answers. It’s never closure. You never get over losing someone you love. However, when we lose somebody and we don’t know what happened, that’s the ultimate nightmare. So in any capacity, Allen and Amy now have the answers they need to tear down those walls and move forward as terrible as that is. They now know,” Bishop said.