A group of volunteer rescue divers known for its YouTube channel may have cracked a decades-old cold case.
Divers from the group Adventures With Purpose said in a video Sunday that they believe they discovered the remains of James Amabile, who has been missing since December 2003.
“We are confident that we have discovered not only Mr. Amabile’s vehicle, but his human remains, as well,” diver Doug Bishop said in a video shared Sunday on the organization’s YouTube channel.
Bishop said the divers discovered a car submerged in Darby Creek in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, with human remains still in the vehicle.
Ridley Township police were “notified immediately,” the group said in the caption for the video, “and through a joint effort together, we were able to identify and recover human remains from the vehicle.”
The group is still waiting on confirmation from the medical examiner. However, Bishop said, “we believe and the family believes that we definitely closed this case for them.”
“His family is very extremely grateful for everything,” Bishop said.
A spokesperson for the group and the Ridley Township Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. An attempt to reach Amabile’s family was unsuccessful.
Amabile’s family reached out to the diving group months ago, Bishop said. Amabile told his babysitter that he was running late to pick up his daughters, and he has been missing since then. His family theorized that Amabile, who was diabetic, was disoriented because of low blood sugar and made a wrong turn before he drove into the river.
The group retraced the drive between Amabile’s home and the babysitter’s, pinpointing a marina in Darby Creek. Using underwater sonar technology that wasn’t available when Amabile disappeared, they found his car about 24 feet underwater. Human remains were still buckled in the driver’s seat.
The marina was redeveloped a few years after Amabile disappeared, Bishop said in the video, and builders had unknowingly drilled a pylon through the submerged vehicle while building the dock. Rapid currents and poor visibility further concealed the vehicle. Adventures With Purpose was able to recover most of the remains for identification.
Adventures With Purpose, which has over 2 million subscribers on YouTube, is funded by donations and merchandise sales. It facilitates volunteer diving expeditions to find clues about missing persons cases, free of charge for the victims’ families.
The group has helped solve 20 missing persons cold cases since 2019, according to its website.
“At this moment we want to take a moment to express our sympathies to the entire Amabile family as they navigate this tragic outcome to a nightmare that has lasted 18 years,” the divers wrote in the YouTube video’s description. “We encourage each and every one of you to take the time today to hug your loved ones a little tighter and cherish the moments you have.”
Severe weather causes widespread damage in the SouthMarch 22, 202204:22
This story was previously published on NBCNews.com.