IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (ABC4)— A cold case that has been ongoing for four years was solved within 20 minutes by a popular YouTube group that works to solve missing persons cases taking the lead.
Doug Bishop is the lead detective in Adventures With Purpose, a company in Oregon made up of a team of YouTubers who have gained over two million subscribers through their work in finding lost people.
According to East Idaho News, the underwater sonar search and recovery dive team has been traveling the country for five years helping families and law enforcement crack cold cases.
Bishop arrived in Idaho Falls on May 1 with his crew to help in the Matthew “Jed” Hall case.
According to East Idaho News, Idaho Falls police have been searching for Jed in the years that followed his disappearance on Jan. 22, 2018, when he vanished in his 2009 gray Nissan Versa hatchback, taking a 9mm handgun and camping/survival gear along with him. Before skipping town, Jed allegedly left behind a note hinting that he may be attempting suicide.
“We came into this like we come into all cases,” Bishop explained to East Idaho News. “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. 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.”
Luckily, the team did in fact have a cellphone ping dating back four years ago near the area of the Snake River.
Adventures With Purpose kick-started their search on 9 a.m. May 1, south of the Johns Hole boat ramp. It took the team a mere 20 minutes to locate Jed’s vehicle under about eight feet of water roughly 75 yards away from the boat ramp. Jed’s parents, Amy and Allen Hall, were present during the identification of the vehicle.
“No true words can describe their reaction (when the vehicle was being pulled out of the river),” Bishop tells East Idaho News. “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.”
The Idaho Falls Police Department disclosed that human remains found in the rear of the vehicle are currently awaiting positive identification. Evidentiary processing of the vehicle is also in progress at this time.
“Confirming there are remains in there – it’s a whirlwind,” Bishop explained. “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.”
When discussing the matter with East Idaho News, Bishop acknowledged evidence that Jed’s vehicle has been in the water since he vanished 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.”
In regards to the Hall family, Bishop relayed his hopes that finding Jed’s vehicle will offer some answers to Amy and Allen.
“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 told East Idaho News.