Vigil Held for person found inside car in Cumberland River
February 4, 2021
This is the story about finding Bill Simmons’ Car in the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tenn.
One correction: Dennis isn’t a diver! We were there doing Side Imaging Sonar
Vigil held for person found inside car in Cumberland River
by: Valencia Wicker
Posted: Jan 26, 2021 / 10:36 PM CST / Updated: Jan 26, 2021 / 10:50 PM CST
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Simmons family clung to one another while surrounded by friends, community leaders, and candles along the Cumberland River.
“It’s been probably the toughest day I’ve ever had in my life,” said Cristine Simmons.
Her husband, Bill, has been missing since June 15th, 2020. Community leaders held a vigil for the 57-year-old man on Tuesday evening after divers found a car matching the description of his in the water.
“From experience, we’ve done so many of these searches over the past 15 years, when someone goes missing, it’s always close to home,” said Dennis Watters, one of the divers who traveled from Illinois to help search. “We didn’t want to leave town until we turned over the last rock.”
Monday, Watters says he was the man who found the car which fit the description of Bill’s.
“It’s bittersweet because you know the search is over and it’s the ending. In this case — the minute it came upon our sonar, we knew we had him,” said Watters.
Watters says the car was found upside down with a body inside. From what he can tell, the car went through a fence lining the river and into the water.
“When the car came out of the water, it was just destroyed,” said Watters. “There’s not a spot on the car that doesn’t have damage.”
The Simmons family finally gets closure, after seven months of confusion.
“I’m on a roller coaster,” said Simmons. “I’m relieved that I finally know where my husband is. And at the same time — I’m a devastated wife. I’ve lost my soul mate and now I have to deal with that.”
Metro Police have not yet identified the body found inside the car. They are awaiting confirmation from the medical examiners.