YouTubers, Adventures with Purpose, find bodies of missing woman and child

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An Arkansas woman, Samantha Hopper, 19, and her daughter Courtney Holt, 2, went missing in 1998. And YouTubers Adventures with Purpose (AWP) helped to solve the cold case. 

Jared Leisek and his search and salvage team were contacted by Hopper’s surviving daughter. Dezarae Carpenter has spent 23 years wondering what happened to her mother and sister. She was 3-years-old when her family disappeared. 

Dezarae has been working with the Pope County Sheriff’s Department trying to solve the mystery. Eventually, she contacted Adventures with Purpose, or AWP, a group that started out clearing waterways of wrecks. And now works to solve missing person cases.

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They have solved 13 missing person cases this year.

1998 Disappearance

When she disappeared, Samantha Jean Hopper, 19, was going to drop her two-year-old off in Russellville, Arkansas. Then she had plans to go to a concert in Little Rock. And they were never seen again.

A blue 1989 Ford Tempo the same make and model that Hooper drove was found. It was submerged in 11-feet of water about 25 feet from the West Pleasant View Road Bridge.

A full autopsy with DNA from the family will need to be conducted in order to confirm that the bodies are Samantha and Courtney.

Adventures with Purpose gives family answers

AWP met with Debbie (Samantha’s Mother) and Dezarea (Samantha’s Daughter) along with Samantha’s best friend, Selena. 

They used clues of Samantha’s habits, and events of the day in 1998 when she disappeared. Then the dive teams split up to scan multiple locations in the area of Lake Dardanelle.

On Oct. 26, the AWP called the Pope County Sheriff’s Office to inform them they located the car with sonar. And confirmed that it was Samantha’s car with a diver’s verification.

Jared Leisek of Adventures with Purpose said that “It is our honor to have brought Samantha home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Samantha’s family during this difficult time.” 

“Hug the ones you love for you never know when it might be the last time you see them.“

We are humbled by the opportunity all of you have given us to help in the search for answers as to what happened to Samantha and her babies.”

Another group of YouTubers, The Chaos Divers, assisted AWP, in locating the submerged car. Jacob Grubbs of Chaos Divers said, “Our trip would end in Arkansas.  We had the honor and humbling experience to assist in solving the 23-year-old case of Samantha Hopper and her children. That case was filled with anguish and joy. I will not forget it.”