But when a family reached out to them in 2019, asking if they might be able to use their skills to help find a missing loved one, Leisek said they had to put their skills to good use.
Since then, the group has helped families find closure through its search missions, including the family of Rodni. The teen had still been missing after local law enforcement conducted thousands of combined hours of searching.
The dive team documents all their work on YouTube, where they’ve racked up tens of millions of views.
Here are some other cases they helped crack:
One of the first missing persons AWP discovered was Ethan Kazmerzak, whose mother told the Oregon-based group she thought he might be in a local pond.
Ethan was on his way back to this Hampton, Iowa home when he went missing in September 2013. The party was just a few miles away, but he disappeared without a trace.
The Iowa mom had a hunch the group might find Ethan, 22, in the nearby body of water.
“We ended up going out there and working off her hunch of where she felt her son might be … we ended up finding her son,” diver Doug Bishop told Fox 2.
The AWP divers located skeletal remains in a car underwater in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania in March, helping close an almost two-decade-old case.
AWP discovered the vehicle with plates matching Amabile’s and alerted authorities of their discovery.
Samantha Hopper and Courtney Holt
The divers traveled to Arkansas in fall 2021 in hopes of finding Samantha Hopper and her daughter Courtney Holt, who were together when they disappeared on Sept. 11, 1998. Samantha had been en route to drop her daughter off so she could attend a concert in Little Rock at the time.
The group ended up finding Samantha’s car in a nearby river, and the remains inside were later identified as the mom and her daughter.
Law enforcement spent a year searching in vain for Ralph Brown, a local educator and the former mayor of Cornelius, Oregon who went missing in May 2021.
AWP found him in May 2022 after searching the Willamette River. His car was located about 40 feet beneath the surface of the water, according to local reports, with remains inside that were eventually confirmed to be the former mayor’s.