Big Story Followup

Jan 24, 2013 5:15 PM

Family of Missing Boater Hopeful About New Tips

32-year-old Clarence Holmes went missing July 5th, 2012 while boating on Laurel Lake when a storm hit. His boat was recovered, but Holmes was never found. Now, new tips are giving the family new hope.

The Laurel County Rescue Squad tried everything. They enlisted outside help and won a grant for new search equipment. Clarence Holmes's family searched the underwater forest beneath the lake on their own with mining cameras. It's been excruciating not knowing. Now, there's renewed hope.

"It made me feel relieved and wonderful that somebody wants to help and we have new information to go on because you can't help but feel stuck in a rut," explains Dena Newcomb, Clarence Holmes's aunt.

A couple boating on Laurel Lake July 5th, the day Holmes went missing, saw LEX18's report last December, and reached out to Holmes's mom on facebook. The couple was on the water near Twin Coves during the hail storm, and they didn't see Holmes's boat there.

"They should have seen him if that accident happened to him then. They should have at least seen the boat floating," says Newcomb.

A thirty-second video was taken of Holmes with the storm behind him. He was thought to be near Twin Coves around 3:30 pm, but now that timeline could be re-evaluated. The couple also said they saw a pontoon boat at Marsh Branch with people around it, and they could not confirm or deny it was the family pontoon boat Holmes was using.

"We're trying to figure out who that pontoon boat belonged to, and who those people were because they had a direct line of sight to Twin Coves and may have seen Clarence come out of Twin Coves," says Newcomb.

Because even the smallest tip could generate a huge ripple and help find the truth.

Rescuers are coming up with a game plan for a new search. If you were on Laurel Lake on July 5th or think you may have any information, contact Chief Larry Vanhook of the Laurel County Rescue Squad at 606-682-3353.

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