Investigation underway into three vehicles pulled from river

·2 min read

Sep. 17—GOSHEN — Goshen police are diving through state records as they investigate the discovery of three more vehicles in the Elkhart River.

Two cars and a pickup truck were pulled from the river at Violett Cemetery on Thursday. One vehicle was a 1979 Mercedes, and police Friday said they're waiting for records from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles before they have more information to release on the other vehicles.

According to P.J. Mayberry of Thompson's Towing, the vehicles that were extracted from the river's muddy bottom after the Mercedes were a Chevrolet S-10 and a Pontiac Grand-Am. He wasn't able to provide more information on the vehicles, saying the identification numbers had decayed in the river.

"They'd been in there quite a while," Mayberry said.

A crew from Thompson's used their equipment to haul the vehicles from approximately 8 feet of water as part of an operation with Goshen police and firefighters. The process took about five hours to complete, with police saying they cleared the scene around 4:15 p.m.

Mayberry said his team had to work carefully to recover each vehicle.

"It's really hard to get those cars out of there because they fill up with mud and debris," Mayberry said.

He estimated an approximately 3,000 pound vehicle could weigh up to 12,000 to 15,000-pounds with mud and gunk from the river packed inside it. And with the added weight, he said vehicles can start falling apart while being hauled.

Discovering the three vehicles Thursday came two weeks after a stolen pickup truck was pulled out of the Goshen Dam Pond, north of the site at Violett Cemetery, on Sept. 1.

The water level of the river is much lower than normal while maintenance work is underway on the Goshen dam.

Aimee Ambrose can be reached at or 574-533-2151, ext. 240316. Follow her on Twitter at @aambrose_TGN.