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LAPD Diver Goes Headfirst Into La Brea Tar Pits

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The La Brea Tar Pits (Photo by joe_is_here via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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In an attempt to recover evidence from a 2011 murder, an LAPD diver sprang boldly and deftly straight into the La Brea tar pits yesterday morning.

According to ABC 7, David Mascarenas donned a hazmat suit to delve into the depths of 17-foot deep sludge and look for discarded items, the details of which were not released by LAPD.

Mascarenas says that he could see almost exactly nothing while he was under, but that the dive was nevertheless a success.

"Visibility was zero," he told ABC. "I could pretty much not see my hand until I put it up to my face. We did find evidence that pertained to the police investigation. It was a high profile case that they were looking for evidence of that crime."

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The LA Times reports that police used all technology at their disposal, including "metal detectors on land and in the tar, high-powered magnets and sonar to map the area. Video cameras were able to focus on possible items of interest."

The dive came to an end at about 2:00 p.m., but not before Mascarenas endured some bumps in the plan. According to ABC 7:

He admits his protective suit leaked and he got a little sick. "I am feeling better now. The contact with the chemicals and the fumes, the methane gas, and so forth, caused me to get a little dizzy and a little lightheaded, but I had to focus on my mission."