Part 13 - The Aftermath

The Laitinen Case

Late summer was turning into autumn and I hadn’t heard back from the police. I couldn’t believe they were still trying to bring the car back to the surface. We had promised to not to talk about the find. I felt bad about not mentioning it to the few people I knew in the missing persons volunteer community.

Once the detective of the case called, almost two months later, I understood why the operation had taken so long. Getting the car back to the surface had been a world class salvage operation. The mere planning took a significant amount of time and resources. The actual operation was carried out with the Finnish army requiring engineers to rebuild the road, army vehicles and vessels, and an excavator standing on a military raft.

I visited my parents before winter set in 2021. On my way there, I went to see the search site. It was hard to believe it was the same place. It had been completely rebuilt.

The spot after the salvage operation The spot after the salvage operation.

Everything Else

Both of these cases were covered extensively in the Finnish media. In the last days of 2021, the prominent Finnish magazine, Suomen Kuvalehti had the story of finding Laitinen as their cover story.

We also received a thank you letter from the president of Finland. The police of Finland honoured us with a medal, which is normally only awarded to police officers. Juha Peltola, Jussi Peltola’s father, organized a fundraiser to upgrade our sonar, boat, and ROV.

All this felt, back then and still now, unreal - as if it happened in another life or to someone else.

After playing a part in this extraordinary adventure, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who helped play a part, no matter how big or small, in allowing me the privilege to help people in this way.

I got a lot of the help from the Internet - from people who probably have no idea how they had helped me. All the Youtube videos, blogs and forum posts that people had posted about the things they had built. I hope this blog post will help someone in the same spirit.