Wendell Nope Police Diving Pages
Crime Scene Diving
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The Utah Department of Public Safety Dive Team is trained and competent to function at underwater crime scenes. The following photos and descriptions present some of the scenarios the DPS Dive Team have participated in.

This photo is a screen capture from the video in which the DPS Dive Team located, documented, and recovered a 55-gallon drum that contained the remains of a murdered Colorado woman - a full seven years after her disappearance! This is our first successful "Cold Case" homicide investigation. The target barrel is inside the HazMat barrel you see here. This is one of the most compelling incidents I am aware of. There is also a three state twist to this case. The victim is believed to been killed in Colorado, the body hidden in a lake in Arizona, and the Utah DPS Dive Team made the find and recovery. I have seldom seen multiple agencies from multiple States work so cohesively together. After the remains were positively identified via DNA analysis, the prosecution was successfully concluded. A video presentation of the Utah DPS Dive Team's involvement may be seen at Lyman Lake 2009. A web page established to track the investigation in Colorado may be seen at Danice Day Web Page.
This photo shows a submerged vehicle which was spotted on a sonar scan while the DPS Dive Team was on a different mission. The vehicle is in 120' of 43F Black Water. The inadvertent discovery of this vehicle prompted the Dive Team to investigate whether this was a discarded stolen vehicle or whether the truck contained occupants. The following video is quite interesting, as the multiple challenging conditions cause this to be a monster dive. The DPS Dive Team trains for conditions such as this, as many high-altitude Utah lakes have similar conditions. A special treat is the presence and attention given to the DPS Divers by the Team Hyperbaric Physician, Dr. Tommy Love. East Canyon Reservoir Truck.
This photo may not seem to have any connection with Police Diving. However, if you watch the video on the link at the end of this paragraph, you will see just how crucial this particular brick is to a homicide investigation. Police Diving during a criminal investigation can be extraordinarily important. The aquatic environment can be very-very destructive to criminal evidence. Accordingly, finding-documenting-collecting underwater evidence skillfully is of extreme importance. Willow Pond Homicide
This photo shows an early training exercise the DPS Dive Team conducted shortly after its inception in 2002. The Diver is preparing to recover a loaded rifle from the bottom of a local reservoir where it had been thrown after a simulated homicide. The tube is heavy-duty PVC and has a removable cap on one end.
This photo was taken during a comprehensive training exercise the DPS Dive Team conducted at Sand Hollow Reservoir in southern Utah. The scenario included a homicide of the pilot and passenger by several conspirators using an electronic device which the divers had to find in the fuselage. Upon finding the device, divers had to document it through photography and video. Below is a digital photo of the simulated device. Notice the clarity and detail of the photo. This is only acquired through skillful buoyancy and careful focus on the task.

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