Amateur Dive Team Solves 23 Cold Cases (and Counting) That the Police Never Could

By: Lauren Fokas | Last updated: Nov 08, 2023

An incredible team of divers has solved 23 cold cases that police could never quite figure out. 

They call themselves Adventures With Purpose (AWP), and when they get a call from a family member or loved one of a missing person, they head out immediately to try to find out what happened to them. 

What Is Adventures With Purpose?

Two divers, Sam Ginn and Jared Leisek, originally started Adventures With Purpose in order to use their love of scuba diving for good. At first, they would clean up coral reefs and underwater habitats of trash, but now, they have a different mission. 

Several cans sit on coral reef showing underwater waste

Source: Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images

These guys have decided to use their skill set to help solve cold cases of missing persons that the police have no answers for. 


AWP Is Now Focused on Solving Cold Cases

Typically, the guys will get a call from a loved one or family member of a missing person asking for their help. 

Adventures With Purpose creators Sam Ginn and Jared Leisek stand in front of a lake in Iowa

Source: YouTube

Then, Sam and Jared do all the possible research they can as to where the person was last seen and make a plan as to where to start their search. 

Step One: Make a Plan

Because Sam and Jared are incredibly experienced divers, they usually only get calls from families who believe their loved ones may have fallen, driven, or been forced into a body of water. 

Man drawing a map of underwater depths on a piece of white paper

Source: YouTube

So, the first step in their plan is to map out the depth and size of the body of water they will be searching for. 

Step Two: Dive Deep Into the Water

Next, the two men, along with their team, prepare to dive into the water and explore as much as they possibly can. 

Jared Leisek getting out of the water in scuba gear with a man in a kayak behind him

Source: YouTube

The majority of the time, Sam and Jared are not just searching for a body but the car they were traveling in before they went missing.

Attach Chains & Pull the Cars Out of the Water

When the guys find the car, which they almost always do, the next step is getting it out onto dry land. 

Two gloved hands attaching a metal chain to a car underwater

Source: YouTube

Whoever found the car attaches a strong metal chain somewhere on the vehicle and then brings the other side of the chain to the surface to connect it to a tow truck. 


Kiely Rodni

Last year, Adventures With Purpose solved the case of Kiely Rodni with this tried and true plan of action. 

Two side-by-side photos of Kiely Rodni

Source: Facebook

Kiely went missing on August 6th, 2022, but after thousands of hours of searching, the police couldn’t find the sixteen-year-old, her car, or any evidence to say where she might be. Then, after just 35 minutes in the water, Sam and Jared found Kiely’s body in the back of her 2013 Honda. 


James Amabile

In Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, AWP found the body of father James Amabile in a car almost 20 years after he went missing. 

Collage of photo of James Amabile and his daughters and a photo of the men who found his body in a body of water with the text “James Amabile: Body Found”

Source: YouTube

Amabile has been a missing person since December 2003, but luckily, the police were finally able to identify his body and give his family closure thanks to the work of AWP. 


Ethan Kazmerzak

In 2019, the mother of 22-year-old Ethan Kazmerzak called AWP to help find her son, who had been missing since September 2013. 

Poster of $100,000 Reward for information regarding missing person Ethan Bert Kazmerzak

Source: YouTube

Ethan’s mother told the team that they might find him in a pond by their Iowa home, and she was sadly correct. The team found Ethan deceased in his car just miles from his house. 


Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt

In Arkansas, a mother and daughter, Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt, went missing on September 11, 1998. And in 2021, 23 years later, Samantha’s remaining daughter called AWP in the hopes that they would be able to do what the police couldn’t.

Missing person poster for Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt with detailed information

Source: Facebook

Sam and Jared soon found the bodies of Samantha and her young daughter in a river on Samantha’s route that day. 


Ralph Brown

The former mayor of Cornelius, Oregon, Ralph Brown, went missing at 76 years old in May of 2021. But after a year of searching, local authorities let the case go cold. 

Photo of 76-year-old Ralph Brown

Source: Facebook

However, the AWP team was able to find him 40 feet below the surface of the Willamette River in his vehicle. 


With 23 Cold Cases Solved, the Guys of AWP Aren’t Done Yet

These are just a few examples of the 23 cold cases Adventures With Purpose has solved over the years, and they’re not stopping there. 

Two men with camera equipment on a small inflatable boat from Adventures With Purpose

Source: Adventures With Purpose

This team is going to keep helping families looking for closure all around the country, and will also continue to update their YouTube channel with each and every case they solve along the way.