Stolen car found in Saginaw River - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Stolen car found in Saginaw River

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(08/19/13) - It's an area in Saginaw that draws lots of events and visitors, but Monday morning, it drew the attention of police.

A car was found sunk in the Saginaw River, about 30 yards just off the north shore of Ojibway Island.

At first, police weren't sure if anyone was inside.

They have been called to the area more than once in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a body was found in the same area of water.

Saginaw Public Services Director Phil Karwatt was walking along the shoreline of Ojibway Island with a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, looking over damage on the island from the April and May floods, when he saw what appeared to be the sunroof of a white car sticking out of the water.

"I've been the city with 14 years, but this is the first time I've seen something like this," Karwatt said.

The Saginaw County Sheriff's Department Marine Division attempted to break a window to see if there was anyone inside the car. That didn't work, so two members of the Saginaw County Dive Team went into the water

"You take caution, because every time you do something under the water, you are not meant to breathe under water," said Lt. Dave Sommers, with the Saginaw County Dive Team.

Sommers has been doing this type of work for nearly thirty years. First thing on his list, "double check to make there is no one outside the car," he said.

Then prepare to pull the Grand Prix out of the water by placing straps around the wheel.

"There was about a foot of mud it was sitting in," Sommers said.

The car was towed out of the water with dozens of people looking on.

"We determined there was no one in the vehicle, fortunately," said Lt. Randy Pfau, of the Saginaw County Sheriff's Office.

The area where the car went into the Saginaw River is the same place where the body of 62-year-old Milton Buford was found in the water. A cause of death has not been released. Investigators don't believe the two incidents are related.

"It's currently stolen out of the city of Saginaw," Pfau said.

Certainly, whoever stole that car would face some criminal charges, and possibly the added charge of illegal dumping of a vehicle.

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