Jennifer Odom case: Investigators end search for murder clues at Lake Jovita

4:45 PM, Jun 19, 2013   |    comments
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6/18/13: Following up on a tip, police and dive crews search Lake Jovita in Pasco County for clues to the Jennifer Odom cold case.
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San Antonio, Florida - For the second day law enforcement boats trolled the waters of Lake Jovita and divers crisscrossed the depths searching for something. They're not saying what, except that a tip in the Jennifer Odom murder case pointed to the Pasco County lake.

"It's very important for us to solve the Odom case," said Hernando County Sheriff's spokesperson Denise Moloney, "But as I said yesterday, we don't  know if there's anything in there and if there is, if it's related to this case or if it's not. We don't know."

In their watery search for clues, the law enforcement dive teams have a tough task. Just how tough? 10 News consulted with Michael Jones, a local dive instructor with 40 years experience.

"It's like looking for a needle in a haystack," says Jones. "You would have to be right over the top of anything in there to find it."

With the OK from investigators, 10 News asked Jones and his partner from Aquatic Adventures of Florida to take an underwater camera into Lake Jovita.

The video shows heavy vegetation towards shore and in deeper water the visibility is poor.  And Jones says if you stir up the bottom silt-- you can't see a thing.

"I feel for these guys trying to find anything. The growth would make it very difficult and the visibility would make it even worse," he said after diving in the lake.

And indeed, at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, the law enforcement dive teams called it quits and packed up their gear. According to the Hernando Sheriff's Office, "after an exhaustive search" the divers found nothing.

And for people in this area who have hoped for 20 years that the little girl's killer would be caught, they are now left with quiet waters and a sinking feeling. 

"A lot of people haven't forgotten," said Robert Luffman while driving by the lake, "And and they would like to see whoever done it get their due. "

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