For the second time in a year, YouTube has found itself as the medium for solving a missing persons case. Insider reports that a diving channel from YouTube has aided in helping locate a woman that went missing last spring.
Margaret “Jan” Shupe Smith went missing on April 2nd, 2021 in Lakeland, Florida. While her family says they had almost no information regarding her disappearance, they do know that she was heading home around 7:30 pm local time, but her family and authorities couldn’t locate her after that.
Not too long after Smith went missing, her family reached out to the YouTube channel Adventures With Purpose. Originally started in 2019 by Jared Leisek as a way to help clean up local bodies of water, the channel has recently changed direction by aiding in the finding of missing persons. The channel has helped solve 18 cold cases so far. Pretty damn impressive for some guys that started out wanting to clean up the environment.
The team from the channel set out searching once they arrived. At one point, they nearly gave up. Then they received a crucial piece of evidence from local police. From Insider:
The members almost gave up until they were told by a Polk County deputy that Smith had been in a car crash on the day she went missing.
The team learned the retention pond down Victoria Road was about a mile from the crash site.
Using this new evidence, Adventures With Purpose was able to search the small pond. And that’s where they found a green Kia Soul in just six feet of water with a body inside.
Authorities are working to identify the body that was found. Both Smith’s family and local authorities are grateful for the help Adventures With Purpose were able to provide. From NBC 8 Tampa:
This was a tragic accident, and our prayers are with the family. We’re grateful for ‘Adventures with Purpose’ working with us in locating the vehicle,” Sheriff Grady Judd wrote in a statement.