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New group searching Laurel Co. waters for missing Madison Co. man

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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - They're from Louisiana..Florida and New York but this week they're in Kentucky.

"Trying to provide something that somebody doesn't have...give some new perspective," said Mark Michaud, a Louisiana police officer and diving team leader putting together a plan that Holmes' family hopes will end with the finding of his body in the murky depths of Laurel Lake that straddles the Laurel/ Whitley Co. line in southeastern Kentucky.

Clarence Holmes hasn't been seen since he was navigating his pontoon during a thunderstorm....near Holly Bay Marina during the late afternoon hours of July 5th, 2012.

"They've worked a lot of very difficult jobs in a lot of deep, deep water," said Dena Newcomb, Holmes' aunt, who says the teams offered their services free of charge.

Cadaver dogs did hit on a certain area of the lake and now several dive teams will do an extensive underwater search. Crews of divers were expected to only spend 20 to 30 minutes under water at a time, with temperatures around 30 degrees and visibilities of just a few feet.

"We've isolated what we believe is a cadaver dog alert, several times, and we have isolated that into a small area. It's going to be down wind from where it has originated, " said Michaud.

The problem is that Laurel lake is hundreds of feet deep with a thick underwater forest.

"We are going to set a down line, and they are going to go down this line that has a bouey at the top and they can cut it as they go," he said.

This is one of many searches undertaken in the last 20 or so months but the family believes this group has resources they've never had before.

"They've got a lot of great contacts all over the United States. If they feel they need them they can call them in," said Newcomb.

The group will be searching the lake through Saturday.


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