Nationally known search-and-rescue dive team works on two Minnesota cold cases

CBS Minnesota
CBS Minnesota

Cold case dive team takes on two Minnesota mysteries 02:15

MINNEAPOLIS. -- Adventures with Purpose is an Oregon-based search-and-rescue dive team telling the stories of the untold, by finding those who've been missing for decades.

The six-man team takes on cold cases across the country and has brought closure to dozens of families.

Now, they're hoping to resolve two Minnesota mysteries. On Tuesday, they searched the St. Croix River by Taylors Falls looking for any sign of Georgia Smith. The 76-year-old grandmother was last seen driving her blue Mercedes to her cabin in Wisconsin back in 1999.

On Wednesday, they searched in the Mississippi River just below the dam in downtown Minneapolis searching for any sign of a burgundy Ford Taurus, along with its owner, Mark Folz, who was last seen in 2003.

"He's an army veteran, and I'm also an army veteran which is why this particular case pulls at my heartstrings and that's why we're here today," said Nick Rinn, one of the certified divers on this team. His diving counterpart is Doug Bishop.

They both say it's hard not to get attached to those they search for.

"In telling someone's story, this is a voice that most of these missing cases that we cover have never had," said Bishop.

The Adventures with Purpose team travels with their RV and diving equipment all over the country hoping to find missing people likely to be in lakes or rivers. Their equipment specializes in finding cars underwater, which has lead them to solve 23 cold cases in the last two years.

They use sonars on each boat that capture the river from three different angles, and go 100 ft. wide on either side of the boat. This allows them to get a rare glimpse of what's below the river's surface that most dive teams can't capture.

"Once we do make an identification, it's a crime scene. So our main focus at that point is protecting the integrity of that scene," said Bishop. At that point, law enforcement takes over. Adventures with Purpose works closely with local law enforcement agencies while they're searching. Their work is not to shame what law enforcement wasn't able to accomplish, but rather do the work that agencies don't have the resources and time to dedicate to.

"If [officers] don't have anything to go off of, unfortunately, their superiors can't have them going after that case," said Bishop, "It's an injustice that's not intentional, but it's an injustice."

While there is no doubt this is an emotional job, closing a case, to them, is worth it.

"There are answers for a family who has been having nightmares not knowing where their loved one is," said Bishop.

Adventures with Purpose documents all of their searches and shares them on their YouTube page.

They say a lot of the unsolved cases they post lead to new tips that help them find the missing person.

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bella chow girl

I watch their Utube channel they are awesome and have helped so many families !!!


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