Cold Case Of Missing Teens Reopened Decades Later After Scuba Diver Finds Their Car Underwater

Photo: White County Sheriff's Office / YouTube
Erin Foster And Jeremy Bechtel

A 21-year-old case of missing teens from Tennessee has been reopened after Jeremy Beau Sides, a scuba diver on YouTube found the car they were last seen in underwater.

Sides is a diver who regularly helps out in missing person cases by finding evidence underwater with the help of his sonar technology and posts videos about it on his YouTube channel, "Exploring With Nug". 

On Nov. 24, Sides posted a video on his channel where he was looking for a Pontiac Grand Am that belonged to one of the missing teenagers — Erin Foster and Jeremy Bechtel.

One of the teens' parents notified the White County Sheriff, Steve Page, about the YouTube channel. Page got in touch with Sides and gave him more details about where the teens were last seen. Based on that information, Sides managed to track down the car that belonged to one of the teens. 

Were Erin Foster and Jeremy Bechtel found?

Human remains were found in the vehicle but police have not yet identified them as the missing teenagers. 

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Erin Foster, 18-years-old and Jeremy Bechtel, 17-years-old went missing on April 3rd, 2000, in Sparta, Tennessee. Both of them left Foster’s home together on that day and hadn't been seen since.

Page told Sides to search for the car in Calfkiller River — the area the teens were last seen. The car was found submerged in the Calfkiller River.

The diver's discovery reopened Foster and Bechtel's case.

Police are now investigating their disappearance again and have confirmed that the human remains found in the car will be tested for DNA.

The minute Page saw Sides, he hugged him and relayed what a huge breakthrough this was, “You know how big this is? Brother, this is the case of a lifetime for me and you.” 

The police mentioned that it might take weeks for the DNA tests to draw any conclusions, so the police are currently investigating what might have happened. As the car was found in the Calfkiller River, divers will be searching the river for any other evidence that might be helpful in the case.  

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As the investigation is still ongoing, it’s hard to confirm anything but Page said that teenagers might have lost control of the car and gone in the water by accident. 

He also mentioned how that river had been searched previously but the divers didn’t find anything, "They were probably less than an eighth of a mile from where the car was found. They just never got anywhere around the car."

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Investigators praised Jeremy Beau Sides.

Page was grateful to Sides and happy that he could help the teens’ family.

“I give Jeremy the credit for finding that car. All I did was kind of point him in the right direction, and he got in the water and found them. It’s so good to be able to bring closure to these families.”

Even Sides shared a video on his YouTube channel that he was glad to have helped out the police and bring some closure to a 21-year-old case. 

"I’m lost for words. I’m so glad I could find them. I’m so sad that that’s where they ended up. I can’t believe — it’s been over 20 years that they’ve been sitting there waiting for someone to find them." 

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer and an Editorial Intern at YourTango who writes on entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.