Volunteer Divers May Have Found Missing Woman's Body

Sandra Lemire disappeared in Florida 12 years ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2024 2:21 PM CST
Volunteer Divers May Have Found Missing Woman's Body
A group of volunteer divers from Sunshine State Sonar said they believe they found the remains of Sandra Lemire on Saturday, Dec 30, 2023, while diving in a small retention pond near Walt Disney World.   (Sunshine State Sonar via AP)

The body of a woman who went missing 12 years ago appears to have been found in a minivan submerged in a central Florida retention pond near Walt Disney World, according to family members and volunteer divers who discovered the remains last week. The family of Sandra Lemire told local media on Tuesday that they believe the remains found in the vehicle are the central Florida woman who vanished along with her car in 2012 after leaving a restaurant in Kissimmee, Florida, the AP reports. Divers with Sunshine State Sonar found the vehicle last Saturday while searching in a small retention pond at the Disney World exit on Interstate 4 in Kissimmee.

The group of volunteer divers assists law enforcement in finding missing persons, vehicles, or vessels believed to be in Florida waterways. They had been searching for Lemire in 63 bodies of water over the last year and a half. Last week, a tip from an Orlando Police Department detective about the location of a cellphone tower that last received a call from Lemire's phone helped them narrow the search to the retention pond, the group said in a statement on social media. "We located what appeared to be a minivan submerged in 14 feet of water," the statement said. "Our team quickly suited up and dove on the vehicle to make the license plate confirmation."

In a statement to Spectrum News in Orlando, Lemire's son, Timothy Lemire, said he never lost hope about finding his mother. "You just can't lose hope and I almost did," he said Tuesday. "But the Sunshine State Sonar did an amazing job solving this case. Without them, none of this would have been possible." The medical examiner's office in Orlando still needs to confirm the identity of the remains. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash. (This missing man was found in a pond near a funeral home.)

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