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Spokane woman goes down to the Spokane River to photograph ducks, finds a submerged car instead

Firefighters were called Wednesday morning to the area of South Riverton Avenue and Desmet Avenue, where they found a car submerged in the Spokane River with nobody inside. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)

Jean Richmond decided to go down to the Spokane River near her house early Wednesday morning to take pictures of the ducks.

That’s when she noticed the dented guardrail near the corner of South Riverton Avenue and Desmet Avenue, and tire tracks in the tall snow berm.

“Then I noticed tire tracks leading all the way down to the river,” she said. “And a license plate laying there.”

She quickly called police. Moments later, rescue crews filled the area as a small crew of firefighters floated the river in search for the missing car.

They found it. And it was apparently empty, officials said.

Richmond, who’s lived in the area since 1992, said this is about the fifth time she’s called police to report a car in the river. She said this is a “hot spot” for dumping stolen vehicles.

“I’ve seen people put stolen cars in the river all the time,” she said. “They leave the driver-side door open and put a brick on the pedal.”

While there was no official word, rumblings among officers indicated the car may have been stolen, based on the license plate Richmond found.

“You wouldn’t believe what happens around here,” she said.