The head of a volunteer dive team couldn’t believe it when his diver, Scott Rose, radioed, “We’ve got a bravo,” a code word the team uses when a diver finds something important.

First, it was a radiator that matched a specific car they were looking for in a 1982 cold case, then came two wheels with hubcaps from the same car, Sydney dive team boss Steve Swain told Fox News Digital.

“At that point, we asked the diver to do a search around the vehicle, and that’s when he found some remains” of a detonated Camaro buried about 15 feet deep in Jack’s Creek in Washington, North Carolina, Swain said.

That could be the key to solving the mysterious disappearances of William Clifton, David McMicken and Michael Norman, who apparently disappeared on December 10, 1982, after leaving a bar in Chocowinity, about a 30-minute drive from the dive site. .

CAR FOUND IN NC CREEK WITH HUMAN REMAINS MAY HAVE ANSWERS TO THE SOLVED CASE OF 1982

On top of what is believed to be a Camaro, the car in which three people were last seen leaving a North Carolina bar in 1982.

On top of what is believed to be a Camaro, the car in which three people were last seen leaving a North Carolina bar in 1982. (Sydney Diving Team)

Once they found the remains, they needed to “come up with a plan B,” Swain said. “What are we going to do now?”

“We thought the car was upside down, but it was actually sitting on its wheels, but everything on top of the wheels had deteriorated,” Swain said.

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That’s when they called local authorities, who in this case were police from Washington, North Carolina, to figure out the best way to get the car parts out of the water without destroying possible evidence.

After obtaining the necessary permits and preparations, they eventually drained most of the body of water while the university’s anthropology experts studied the remains.

When they got the water out, they were able to get to the car, and the VIN number matched the missing 1975 Camaro that the missing trio was driving in 1982.

Car parts with debris inside found in North Carolina body of water that was carefully removed from water in North Carolina (Sydney Diving Team)

The body of water after it was pumped out of water.

The body of water after it was pumped out of water. (Sydney Diving Team)

Throughout the operation, family members, including McMicken’s daughter, Kayla Melendres, remained at the scene.

“Upon entering the site, the reality shocked me deeply,” he said.

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Swain remembers family members thanking Swain, Rose and the team for all their efforts.

“They supported our efforts and appreciated our team, and you know that’s why we’re here,” Swain said. “Most dives are rescue missions, they are recovery missions. But we want to provide some closure to the family to help in the healing process.

Sydney Dive Team Manager Steve Swain speaks to Fox News Digital

Sydney dive team leader Steve Swain talks to Fox News Digital about this incredible find. (Chris Eberhart/Fox News Digital/Zoom)

John's Creek in North Carolina after it was mostly emptied.

John’s Creek in North Carolina after it was mostly emptied. (Sydney Diving Team)

Car remains

Car remains (Sydney Diving Team)

The most disturbing part of the entire mission, Swain said, is how many times everyone passed by that body of water.

It is like a retention pond in a busy area that flows into Pungo Creek in Beaufort County, North Carolina.

“We’ve all passed this pump station thousands of times over the years, and we’ve never gone in there,” Swain said.

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The reason they were there is because a YouTuber named Jason Souhrada, a Myrtle Beach native, found something peculiar in the water while using a remote-controlled sonar device.

He took the sonar images to several experts, including the all-volunteer dive team, and Swain said, “It definitely looked like something we should dive for.”

Original sonar image that fueled the mission of the North Carolina volunteer dive team. (Sidney and Jason Souhrada Dive Team)

The site where a volunteer dive team may have crashed and the nearly 42-year mystery of Beaufort County, North Carolina.

The site where a volunteer dive team may have crashed and the nearly 42-year mystery of Beaufort County, North Carolina. (Sydney Diving Team)

That was in December. The team made preparations and prepared the dive for February 9, when they made the incredible discovery.

“I’m very grateful that the guy with the sonar took the initiative to look at this cold case and say, ‘Hey, I think there’s something here,'” Swain said. “We’re very fortunate to do what we did and achieve what we did.”

Whats Next?

Police said they would have to wait for the remains to be positively identified before determining whether foul play may have occurred.

The families of the missing are now awaiting the results of the identification process. In a joint statement, the families have asked for privacy to grieve, reflect and process these events in their own time.

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“We were very appreciated,” Washington Police Chief Rollinson said. “They expressed how grateful they were that so many people were involved in the effort to recover the vehicle and what’s left that we were able to recover. We just want to give them closure.”

Lea Rose, Clifton’s daughter, emphasized the families’ collective gratitude.

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“Without Jason Souhrada’s sacrifice, without taking his family’s time to help ours, we wouldn’t have this potential chance to close,” he said. “This has reopened the wounds, starting the grieving process again for three families. Despite the pain, there is a slight relief in finally having some answers.”

“I feel like I’m in some kind of dream,” ReAnne Mayo, Clifton’s other daughter, told Fox News. “I never thought to prepare if we had found them. For years, I may have been watching the sunset near the creek with my father nearby and never realized.”

Fox News Digital Emily Robertson contributed to this report.

By Sam