Detective: Missing gear hindering dive death investigation

The investigation into the deaths of two Carson City teens who died while scuba diving in Monterey last weekend has been hindered by their missing gear.

Lead investigator, Monterey County Sheriff's Detective Kevin Gardepie said Thursday morning that divers have been searching the ocean off McAbee Beach near Cannery Row since Saturday for the equipment worn by Stephen Anderson, 16, and Keegan Aiazzi, 17, when they took to the water for the second time on Saturday morning from a chartered dive boat.

When the boys didn't surface with their group of about 17 others, divers on the Monterey Express, members of the Monterey County Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard began searching.

Keegan and Stephen were found by the charter boat divers on the ocean floor in close proximity to each other. Attempts to resuscitate them were unsuccessful.

"We are having difficulty finding the dive gear on the ocean floor," said Gardepie, noting visibility and underwater current was making the search difficult. "Finding them is critical to my investigation"

It's not clear if the boys themselves lost or dumped their gear, or if rescuers released the gear to surface with them.

Stephen Anderson's father on Thursday said it also was his understanding that the air tanks were not located.

A press release from the Carson City School District on Monday said both air tanks were empty. Carson City School Superintendent Richard Stokes said Thursday night that the information for the press release included information from the teacher who accompanied the students on the trip.

Gardepie has not released whether a rescuer noted the tanks were empty when the boys were found and before the tanks were lost.


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