A body of a man missing for more than six years was found on the weekend by a group of YouTubers who specialise in missing persons cases.
Tasmania Police have confirmed to Yahoo News Australia human remains were located in a submerged blue Ford Fairmont car registered to Dale Nicholson. The car was found in the River Derwent at New Norfolk, north of Hobart, on Sunday. Mr Nicholson had been missing since 2016.
Although "formal identification is yet to occur", the 59-year-old has been identified by two independent divers from YouTube channel Downunder Dan Diving, by looking at "access points for vehicles". They made the announcement on their YouTube live video on Monday morning.
"We found Dale Nicholson, a 59 year-old that went missing on December 10, 2016," one of the divers, Bill said in the video.
"He was last seen getting breakfast with his fishing rods and we found him here (in the River Derwent) yesterday at 4.11pm in the afternoon."
Family shocked his body was only metres away from home
They were able to confirm that "not only was he in the vehicle with his fishing rods but that he has been here for the last six years about 150 to 200 yards from his home."
"Tasmania police came in, they worked so professionally, they listened to us, they took our advice. The family came down, there's four sisters. The mother sadly passed away shortly after Dale went missing."
His sister, Leanne Marshall, told ABC News that she was so shocked at how close Mr Nicholson was all this time, and was grateful for the divers.
"Finally closure for us to be able to lay Dale to rest, and not have to wonder and keep thinking where is he," she said to the ABC.
"It was such a shock, he was found so close to home, he only lived around the corner."
Bill said in the YouTube video the "family have walked this path thousands of times" during these past six years. "You just never know," he said.
Car kept in place by pine tree
Bill also said the car with Mr Nicholson inside was sheltered by a pine tree, which is what prevented it from being swept down the river for the last six years.
"It (the pine tree) was what was protecting (the vehicle) for the past six years ...which made it that no debris in the tidal river could affect the car," he said in the video.
The duo also mentioned that the wooden posts now surrounding the River Derwent at the location were not there until last year, making access into the river for a car easier.
"This is a prime location for someone going down the hill and going straight into the water," Bill said in the video.
According to a previous Tasmania Police Facebook post, Dale lived all of his life in the Derwent Valley and enjoyed fishing in Tasmania’s Central Highlands. A report is being prepared for the Coroner.
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