H2H Aids in Searching Underwater for Missing Persons

Troy, New York – June 13, 2016 – Two years ago, Mark Farber was at the helm of his company’s survey vessel on the Oswego River testing an underwater sonar device, when he spotted, not one, but three cars at the bottom of the river. Two of the vehicles were empty, but inside the third was the body of Carol Wood, an Oswego, New York resident missing for 18 years.

Mr. Farber is the Scanning and Mapping Manager for H2H Associates, a company that specializes in underwater surveying and mapping and co-owner of Innovative Mapping Technology (IMT) the company that provides H2H and similar firms with the vessels, scanning devices and other high tech equipment used to perform these type of surveys.

The scanning device that H2H employs has been a valuable addition to the equipment used by police in performing water searches. The device scans the bottom of a body of water by using millions of individual data points to create a detailed image. The image is so clear, one can easily distinguish the difference between cement blocks, automobiles and other objects resting on the bottom of a particular body of water.

Based in Troy, New York, H2H is not usually in the business of assisting police in solving crimes. But since 2014, they have made several crime-related discoveries while doing underwater surveys. In addition to the Wood case of two years ago, last summer, a scan of the Hudson River in Troy revealed 11 vehicles lying at the bottom of the river. The New York State Police then began the arduous task of pulling automobiles out, one by one. No bodies were recovered, but most of the vehicles dumped in the river were either stolen or declared stolen for the purpose of insurance fraud.

Then came December 2015, when the police turned to H2H to help find missing Troy woman Noel Alkaramla, whose body was said to have been disposed of in the Hudson River in late November. The 21-year-old’s stepfather told police to look for her in a suitcase in the river somewhere off of Riverfront Park in Troy. After learning this, they immediately began searching the river with police boats and divers. However, with such a large area to scan and the diver’s visibility being less than a foot in the murky water, police asked H2H to help narrow down the search. The scans provided by H2H allowed police to eliminate certain areas and reduce the amount of time divers spent in the frigid water.

With the tides and strong waters, Ms. Alkaramla’s body was ultimately found several miles down river near the port of Albany. H2H received thanks for their part in the search.

With Ms. Wood’s body being located in Oswego, H2H’s work came to the attention of The Center for Hope. The Center was founded by Mary Lyall and her late husband Doug Lyall, the parents of Suzanne Lyall who has been missing since March 2, 1998. The 19-year-old was last seen leaving her job at the Crossgates Mall en route to her campus dorm at The University at Albany. The mission of the Center is to support family and loved ones of missing persons.

To assist Mrs. Lyall in her ongoing search for clues in her daughter’s disappearance, the H2H vessel will be scanning a river at the end of June. “It’s a vast body of water, but we’re committed to helping the Lyall family in this search for Suzanne,” Farber said.

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Testimonials

“The H2H 3D marine mapping system is allowing us to make more informed decisions about areas that need to be manually inspected. We are in the process of adjusting our standard procedures and workflows to take better advantage of the technology in the future. The system definitely performed as promised,”

New York State Canal Corporation