HAMPTON, Iowa - A dive team discovered Ethan Kazmerzak's Volkswagen deep in a pond about 90 feet offshore. On Tuesday afternoon, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office issued a news release confirming human remains were found inside the car.
Jared Leisek and his group, Adventures With Purpose, found Ethan Kazmerzak's car submerged in the pond.
"We were able to identify there was a car in there and yes, we know about it. We verified it and called the sheriff and here we are. Ethan is now coming home," said Leisek.
Leisek adds improved technology over the past few years enabled them to pinpoint the auto beneath the murky water.
Word of the discovery spread quickly through Hampton.
"I was relieved and heartbroke all at the same time. We've known April and Tom and Ethan and Ruth for a very long time," said family friend Carol Schnabel. She says Ethan was a beloved presence in his community.
"My son would always say, I wish I could be more like Ethan, because he was just good at whatever he did. He was good in band, he was good in vocals. He loved plays. He was just a very friendly kid, friends with everybody," she said.
Franklin County Sheriff Aaron Dodd tells me the community had long hoped for a resolution but allows closure in this form is tough.
"It was nice to give the family peace and talk with them. It's not anything we look forward to delivering the message but it does give them some closure," said Dodd.
The body recovered from the Volkswagen is being taken to the state medical examiner's office in Ankeny for positive identification.