In April 2000, two American teens named Jeremy Bechtel and Erin Foster went missing. They were both from Sparta, Tennessee. In 2021, Jeremy Sides, a YouTuber and volunteer who looked into cold cases, found their bodies in Foster’s car.
Erin Foster and Jeremy Bechtel were both born and raised in Sparta, Tennessee. On April 3, 2000, in the evening, Bechtel called his dad, Ronnie Bechtel. Will, Foster’s brother, saw her the same night.
After the evening of April 3, 2000, no one saw them alive again. This led to rumors and fake sighting reports about where they were. There were rumors that Foster lived and worked in Pensacola, Florida, in 2005 and 2006, so searches were done there and in the area.
Jeremy Beau Sides is an American civilian underwater diver who looks for people and things that have gone missing.
Jeremy Sides looked around a lake near where the teens were having their party.
Sides used sonar to find a car 13 feet below the surface of the Calfkiller River near Highway 84 on the evening of November 30.
Sides went back to the car he had seen in the river on December 1, 2021, and dove to film it. Foster’s Grand Am was the name on the license plate.
He called White County Sheriff Steve Page to tell him what he had found and to make sure it was Foster’s car with two bodies inside. Foster and Bechtel’s bodies were later found in the vehicle, 21 years after it had been lost.
Police think Foster lost control of her car while driving on Highway 84, which at the time did not have a guardrail.
On December 4, 2021, he put out a 20-minute video called “Exploring with Nug” in which he talked about what he had found. The video reached Foster’s family and the police because it was watched by almost 171,000 people.
Steve Page, the sheriff of White County, felt like he had lost.
We went into wells, dug up places, and used equipment that could see through the ground to look for bodies. It was right in front of us the whole time… It’s sad to know that it was so easy, but that all the rumors and horror stories spread over the years made it so hard. Steve Page said it.
At first, the police were told that Foster had run away to Pensacola, Florida. In 2005 and 2006, the police followed up on these leads, but neither time did they lead anywhere. Investigators also looked into claims that the two had been killed and their bodies dumped in an old well in White County.
Speculation kept going crazy, and rumors spread that the two had died in a botched drug deal. For decades, the Bechtel and Foster families thought about the last confusing moments of spring 2000, while their neighbors continued to talk about them and spread false information, which led investigators off track.
On April 4, 2000, Ronnie Bechtel went to the address his son gave him. On the other hand, Jeremy and Erin were nowhere to be found. It was thought that her brother, Will, was one of the last people to see her alive. Will was at an arcade on April 3, and his two friends picked him up and drove him home before going back to the party. Then, more than 20 years after they went missing, Sides and his team figured out what happened.
In the end, Jeremy Bechtel and Erin Foster’s case has not been solved. No one knows how the kids got their car stuck in the river. And the creative way this cold case was solved shows how helpful amateur detectives can be, while the depth of this tragedy will be remembered forever.
“It’s like losing him all over again,” Ronnie Bechtel said. “It broke my heart all over again. We always had the feeling that something had happened over the years, but I didn’t know what.”