PLAINFIELD — The police department here received $8,776.97 in grant funds to help purchase sonar equipment to map area retention ponds. The funds came from a grant they had applied for from the Hendricks County Community Foundation.
“This is just one piece of the project that will help us be able to conduct our own searches of our ponds,” PPD Capt. Scott Arndt said. “We are finding that sometimes when people have gone missing they may be under water.”
Arndt said the department has had two cases in the past six years where individuals’ vehicles came to rest under the surface of a retention pond, making it very difficult to find them.
“Normally, if somebody goes missing, the vehicle will eventually turn up,” he said. “We follow leads and when they all dead end and we cannot find that vehicle anywhere on Earth, it may just be under water.”
In 2008, the police department found a 2005 Jeep Wrangler and the body of Harold “Brad” Hensley in a retention pond in the Glen Haven subdivision two years after he went missing. In July of last year, the body of Morgan Johnson was found in his vehicle in a retention pond near the 1500 block of Perry Road.
“Both of those missing people’s cases basically took two years to work through the process,” Arndt said. “It takes time to look for them above water and then we had to call people in to help us search the ponds. With this new equipment, we’ll be able to have a quicker resolution to our cases.”
The grant funds from HCCF will go to purchase equipment for the program. The Guilford Township Board already purchased a Kubota vehicle with a pricetag of about $13,000. The all multi-purpose vehicle can also be used to patrol the park trails.