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Jared Leisek began Adventures with Purpose for fun, to hunt down objects and potentially return them to their owners

Jared Leisek began Adventures with Purpose for fun, to hunt down objects and potentially return them to their owners

The Oregon-based group is a search and rescue dive team, specializing in finding missing people. Its website states they have solved 23 missing persons cases since 2019.

Jared Leisek, the founder, began the YouTube channel as a hobby, recording his adventures as he located cans of soda, cellphones and sunglasses while diving – something he saw as a chance to clean up the environment and find things that others had lost, with the hope of returning them. 

Leisek found his first submerged car, in Portland, Oregon, by accident. He was then contacted by a family in Warrenton, Missouri, and managed to find the car of Nate Ashby, 22, who vanished in July 2019. 

Leisek then paired up with Doug Bishop, who owned a towing company, to start pulling vehicles from the water for environmental purposes. They also used sonar equipment, which Bishop said separates their work from that of law enforcement.

Doug Bishop (left) joined Leisek in his endeavors, and led the search for Rodni

Doug Bishop (left) joined Leisek in his endeavors, and led the search for Rodni

Bishop told Fox that many police departments may have sonar equipment but may not understand all the technicalities that go along with it. 

The 10-member group consists of divers and production crew, who film every search and rescue, posting videos on YouTube and other social media pages.

Their services are free for law enforcement and families. They now have 2.42million subscribers on YouTube, and 1.3million on Facebook: they are funded by donations, ads on social media, and merchandise sales. 

NOTABLE CASES: 

Missouri, December 2019 

Their first request was from the family of Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Ashby, who went missing in Warrenton, Missouri, in July 2019. The family found Leisek and Bishop on YouTube, and asked them to help. The group found Ashby’s Chevy Silverado in the Missouri River in December 2019.

Leisek told Missouri sheriffs it was probably the most difficult and dangerous operation he had conducted, due to the force of the Missouri River currents. He was also surprised at how quickly the conditions began to deteriorate while he was in the water: the river rose two feet during the nine-hour operation to remove the truck.

Oregon, May 2020

The group set out to recover a car from 80ft below the river in Portland. But they also came across another vehicle, a silver Mazda, which contained the remains of a man who had been missing for 12 years. Timothy Robinson, 56, disappeared in November 2008. 

Arkansas, October 2021

The group was dispatched to Russellville, Arkansas, to investigate a tip about the possible remains of a woman who disappeared with her daughter 23 years previously. Samantha Hopper was traveling in her blue Ford Tempo in September 1998 to drop off her daughter, Courtney Holt, before heading to a concert in Little Rock. The car with the pair’s remains was found in eight feet of water in the Illinois Bayou, off Pleasant View Road. 

Texas, January 2022 

The group was sent a message, informing them about a missing person case that they felt Adventures with Purpose could help with. Leisek got in touch with Bianca Torres, whose mother, Stephanie, disappeared in Waco in December 2017.

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The group began searching near the East Boat Launch of the Brazos Valley, and found the body of the missing 43-year-old. Relatives said she had been depressed and suicidal, due to the pain from Fibromyalgia.

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