GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — As the manhunt in Maine shifts into the water, experts in Connecticut are sharing how investigators may be conducting their search.
The Guilford Fire Department Diving Team serves as the regional dive team for Connecticut’s lower shoreline area.
They say the underwater search for the suspect, Robert Card, could take a while because divers may be using specific patterns, as small as 12-by-12-inch squares, to find evidence.
“You really need a good location and good information as [to] where [evidence] could potentially be,” said Brian Manware, the captain of the Guilford Fire Department. “It’s literally searching hand by hand by hand.”
That’s if divers can even reach the bottom.
“The visibility is zero, so you’re searching a [small] spot and you’re just digging along on the bottom,” said Guilford firefighter and diver Jed Morrissey. “You can’t see anything. It’s all on what you can feel.”
Retired Fairfield police chief Gary MacNamara says conditions of the river, including visibility and depth, may be a challenge.
“It’s a big area, and it’s not necessarily the clearest area,” MacNamara said. “So, [investigators are] going to approach it from a variety of different ways. Number one, they’re going to do an aerial over it, so they’ll take drones or helicopters or an airplane over it to see whether or not they can see anything within the water. They may have done this already, but they’re going to reinforce that. Then they’ll approach it by getting sonar in the water.”
The Guilford diving team says handheld sonar devices can be effective for tracking what’s in the water.
“It will drop targets in your 180-degree sweep, and it will tell you how far out that target is from where you are, and it will give you a bearing on where you need to send the divers,” Morrissey said.
Morrissey said those targets could change depending on the river’s current.