Messier and his truck went missing on October 15, 2006 after leaving a party on Vermont Route 100 in Waitsfield. A search for Messier, who was 34 in 2006, took place in the weeks and months after his disappearance, but the case in recent years had remained largely silent.
Messier was at the time living in Waterbury with members of his family after a divorce. His situation had left him depressed, and investigators speculated that he may have contemplated self-harm or may have left town intentionally. MacCallum said last week that police still consider the case a missing persons case and do not suspect foul play.
Last year, a former colleague of the missing Waterbury man came to the attention of the underwater search and recovery team, Adventures With Purpose. Since 2019, the group has traveled the country working primarily on cold missing persons cases involving waterway investigations using sonar detection technology. They document their travels and investigations on YouTube and rely on their subscribers to fund their work with donations and merchandise purchases.
The team visited Vermont in October 2021 to excavate Waterbury Reservoir for Messier’s truck. That effort proved fruitless, but it caught the attention of two local amateur investigators who have spent time over the months since considering other places to search.
Volunteers urged the Adventures With Purpose team to return to Vermont this year and one of the group’s two search teams traveled for four days in early October to pursue these leads. Working on information from volunteer investigator Bill McIntosh who used a Venn diagram to speculate on possible sites to search, the team found the truck in the Winooski River during the first day of their visit.
The truck was submerged and embedded in sand, silt and rocks, upright and facing uphill, according to video footage of the discovery. It was missing its hood, cabin roof and windows as shown in the photos.
The find was reported to state police who then launched a recovery mission which pulled the vehicle out of the water two days later.
The police investigative team took action to remove the material from the lorry before it was hauled from the bottom of the river and then examined the bank the lorry passed over as it exited the river. water upside down.
Captain Matt Daley, commander of the dive team, said last week that investigators returned to the water on the night of October 6 to search the area of the river bottom where the truck had apparently been sitting for more than a decade.
Yet after recovery, investigators said they found no trace that Messier was in the vehicle when it fell into the river.
The Adventures With Purpose team have documented their work on the case in a series of three videos now posted on their YouTube channel. They counted it as their 25th successful search although they did not find Messier’s remains. Their lead diver Nick Rinn attributed the lack of remains to a combination of the length of time the truck was submerged, its missing condition from the top of the cabin, and river activity such as winter pack ice and the deluge of the Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The team did not return to Vermont and the volunteer investigators are not affiliated with the organization.
Back to Winooski
The lack of evidence has not satisfied volunteers who say they want to find evidence that could permanently end the case for Messier’s family and friends.
This desire motivated Moretown resident Chris Ferris and fellow amateur investigator Bill McIntosh to stick with the search. Recent dry, hot weather has left water levels in the Winooski Low, exposing sandbars and long stretches of riverbank downstream from where Messier’s pickup truck was picked up.