Houston is known as the Bayou City, and those bayous are hiding at least 127 sunken cars—and, possibly, bodies in them. Texas Equusearch, the volunteer organization that assists in searches for missing persons, revealed sonar pictures from portions of three of the city’s bayous showing those cars, the Houston Chronicle reports. Now group founder Tim Miller is speaking out in favor of recovering those vehicles and claiming the Houston Police Department tried to silence the group. He says that two years ago, "I went to the detective and said, we got a problem. We've found all these cars. He said, 'You need to shut up, the city doesn't have the money and the public will go crazy about this,'" Miller tells the Chronicle.
Equusearch points out on its website that the sunken vehicles pose an environmental threat, a threat to sportsmen, and may contain dead bodies, perhaps of accident or murder victims. Houston police deny any coverup, with Click2Houston.com quoting a rep as saying, "We knew about most of them and did follow up and investigated two of these vehicles. Keep in mind, most of them would break apart if you tried to get them out." Equusearch, for its part, says it could get the cars out in one piece; barring that, it would like to at least have its divers record all the cars' license plate numbers. The cars came to light after the HPD asked Equusearch to use its sonar to search a bayou for an elderly woman who went missing in October 2011; her car and body were found in a pond the next year. (A 43-year-old case was recently solved in South Dakota thanks to the recovery of a submerged car.)