Metal Detector Finds Evidence and Weapon In Murder Investigation

In Malaysia, police are investigating the gruesome murders of cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya and three of her associates. Sosilawati, the 47 year old entrepreneur that founded Malaysia’s popular Nouvelle Visages line of cosmetics, was reported missing along with her driver, lawyer, and a bank officer. The group had gone to Banting to discuss a land deal involving Ladang Gadong farm with the owner the property. Prior to the disappearance area residents had reported “strange happenings” and “characters of all sorts” coming and going from the farm which is surrounded by a fortified concrete wall.

Primary suspects in the case are the property owner and his brother. According to local papers both are lawyers with dubious reputations that have been involved in a number of land swindling cases. Several employees at the farm were also named as possible accomplices. After intense questioning by the police one of the suspects told authorities that the four victims were killed and their bodies burned. The remaining ashes were then thrown into a river next to the farm. Police divers using JW Fishers Pulse 8X metal detector scoured the muddy river bottom and recovered a number of the victim’s belongings including cell phones, watches, and a necklace. In addition to the personal items found, divers also retrieved a knife allegedly used in the killings.

The underwater metal detector has become a critical piece of equipment for most law enforcement agencies to locate weapons and evidence used in the commission of crimes. In the US, the FBI has outfitted each of their dive teams across the country with multiple detectors, and almost every state police dive unit has at least one. Even small departments are adding a detector, or sharing one with a neighboring city or town.

Law enforcement officials are not the only ones using underwater detectors to recover weapons. Peter Corbett, owner of Divers Training and Supply in Charleston, West Virginia recently received an unusual call. The caller related an incident involving himself and a friend that were duck hunting...from a canoe. Apparently one of the men was unaware of the instability these little double-ended vessels, and in the excitement of the hunt proceeded to swamp the boat sending two expensive shotguns to the river bottom. The man wanted to know if Peter, an experienced diver with all the equipment needed to work in the cold, low visibility environment, could recover the weapons. Peter had the most essential piece of equipment needed do this job; a Pulse 8X metal detector. After gathering information on the approximate location of the mishap, Peter packed up his gear and headed for the river. Instead of immediately diving into the cold, dark water and swimming a grid, Peter decided to use the 8X’s optional 18 inch coil with 100 foot cable. This allowed him to perform a preliminary search from the comfort of his boat. It wasn’t long before the detector signaled the presence of a large target. After marking the location, he returned to shore, threw on his scuba equipment, converted the detector back to diver mode, and hit the water. He swam to the marker, then knifed down to the bottom. Swinging the machine back and forth in front of him, Peter began sweeping the search area.

Although it was difficult to see the detector’s meter in the silty water, he knew as soon as the coil passed over the weapon, he would hear the audio alarm indicating a target had been found. It wasn’t long before the underwater earphone began to wail announcing the detector had located a significant size target. Peter shoved his arm deep into the soft mud and groped around. Then he felt it, the unmistakable shape of a shotgun barrel. He yanked it from bottom and scanned the area again with the detector. Another wail of the audio, some more probing in the muck, and the second gun was recovered. Peter returned the weapons to the happy and relieved owners, who were able to clean and restore them to original condition.

PHOTO: Pulse 8X metal detector

For more information on Fishers complete line of underwater search equipment go to www.jwfishers.com. For more information on Peter Corbett and Divers Training and Supply go to www.dtsdiving.com.