Dive Team Searches Greene Acres Lake

Posted: Updated: Jun 30, 2011 02:00 PM

For the tenth time, a Virginia State Police dive team is searching a lake in Greene County. Investigators are looking for leads in the disappearance of Samantha Ann Clarke. The 19-year-old hasn't been seen since last September.

The Town of Orange Police Chief James Fenwick tells me they're not satisfied with the search so far. That's why they were back on the lake Thursday and a new piece of technology made the effort easier.

All leads in the disappearance of Samantha Ann Clarke point to Greene Acres Lake. For the tenth time investigators have combed its murky water looking for clues. Clarke disappeared from her home in Orange last September.

"Our investigation has led us to this lake obviously," said Fenwick.

A Virginia State Police dive team started the search about 10:00 Thursday morning.

"It can pinpoint any kind of targets or anomalies that are on the bottom," stated Sergeant Lee Elliott with the Virginia State Police.

This time the dive team had a new weapon - a yellow torpedo-shaped device that is equipped with high definition side scan sonar, projecting the floor of the lake onto a computer screen.

"Sometimes you can tell exactly what it is, an old tire, a car, a boat and sometimes you can't and you've got to send a diver down to identify it," explained Elliott.

The massive lake near Stanardsville is about 30 acres in size. At points its 40 feet deep, which has challenged divers. As the days and now month go by, hope for Samantha continues to fade.

"Regardless of what she may have been going to do - good or bad - she would have contacted her family by now. So everyday that goes by without her contacting her family obviously leads to an unfortunate conclusion to this case," said Fenwick.

Police have also met with people who live near the lake. They are concerned but understand why police are there. The chief says draining the lake is a last resort but it's certainly not off the table.