PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A dive team found human remains inside a vehicle submerged in the Columbia River Wednesday at the base of the Glenn Jackson Bridge, police said Wednesday evening.
The body was recovered but the person’s identity has not been released. There are no additional details about the vehicle at this time.
The discovery comes days after a car reportedly went off the Glenn Jackson Bridge during a wicked winter storm.
There has been no confirmation that this is the same vehicle.
The family of Antonio Amaro Lopez believes he may have been the driver in a Subaru Tribeca that slid off the bridge into the Columbia River Sunday evening. For the second night in a row, his family held a candlelight vigil on the beach near the bridge.
The break in the search came Wednesday afternoon by a private search crew that travels the country solving underwater mysteries.
“We found the car for the sheriff and we’re waiting for the sheriff to be able to pinpoint the location on their own, as well,” said Jared Leisek of Adventures with Purpose. He traveled from Bend to search the waters around the bridge.
The private crew began looking for the missing father and his car at 9 a.m., 3 days after he disappeared driving from work in Vancouver to Portland in treacherous, snowy conditions.
On their sonar is a square image at the bottom of the Columbia River.
“Reading sonar is an art,” he said. “If you don’t read sonar everyday you can miss things.”
Leisek said the crew did 2 passes and found the car practically underneath the bridge. The car was upside down in the river.
Family was immediately worried
Antonio Amaro Lopez texted his family at around 5 p.m. Sunday to let them know he was on his way home from work.
Amaro Lopez, who works at his family’s restaurant, Amaro’s Table in Hazel Dell, regularly communicates with his family when he leaves work, and always lets them know when he’s going to be late, his daughter, Abi Amaro said.
But this time, he didn’t come home, she said.
“It turned to 7, 8, and (my mom) texted him again, ‘I’m worried, where are you?’ And no response,” Amaro said.
On Tuesday, the search was hampered by poor visibility, according to officials.
Deputies returned to the area where investigators said Antonio Amaro Lopez’s Subaru Tribeca would have landed: north of Government Island, west of I-205, near Tri-Club Island.
Visibility was reported to be only about six inches. Additionally, a swift current and lots of tree debris in the water have made the search especially challenging, according to MCSO.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.