Elite FBI Unit Searches Schuylkill River

FBI agents pull gun from the murky water

FBI agents and Philadelphia Police Marine Unit investigators were back on the banks and in the water of the Schuylkill River near the Kelly Drive Tuesday after searching for something most of Monday.

A tent and truck were parked along Kelly Drive inbound near the Falls Bridge in the city’s East Falls neighborhood serving as a temporary base for the agents.

After hours of searching, an FBI agent could be seen pulling a revolver out of the water around noon Tuesday. It's unclear if this is one of the things the FBI is looking for because they haven't told anyone the purpose for the investigation.

Shortly after finding the firearm, divers got out of the water.

Witnesses said the crews entered the water Monday morning. As of 10 a.m. Monday, FBI investigators could be seen utilizing the tent and blocking part of the sidewalk. They lowered a ladder down towards the Schuylkill River and agents under the tent could be seen communicating with divers.

FBI agents found a gun in the Schuylkill River on July 16, 2013.

FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski says that the FBI’s Underwater Search & Evidence Response Team (USERT) was searching the river under the Falls Bridge. According to the FBI website, the team focuses on "priority investigations" and there are only four in the country.

Since the search is part of an ongoing investigation, the FBI wouldn’t say what agents were searching for in the water.

Traffic along Kelly Drive kept moving during the search but local residents and curious onlookers did gather near the scene causing things to slow up a bit.

"We're curious," said Jamie Hurd, one of the witnesses. "But we don't want to make speculations without knowing what really happened." 

Just before 1 p.m. Monday, the diver teams came up without commenting on what they were looking for in the murky water.

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