(ReliableNews.org) – Many diving companies across the country have dedicated resources to finding missing people in bodies of water. Sunshine State Sonar, located in Gulfport, Florida, is one of them. The family of one missing woman finally has closure because of its efforts.
On December 31, Sunshine State Sonar announced it had found the remains of Sandra Lemire the previous day. The woman vanished in May 2012 after she left her grandmother’s house in Orlando to meet a man that she met online in Kissimmee. She was driving her grandma’s red 2004 Ford Freestar minivan with Florida plate J36-8ZE.
When Lemire reached Kissimmee, she called her grandmother to tell her she had arrived and would call again before she drove home, but she never did. The last time anyone saw her was when she left a Denny’s restaurant.
In July 2022, Mike Sullivan’s diving company got involved in the case. He worked with detectives from the Orlando Police Department and searched 63 bodies of water over 17 months. At the end of December, detectives provided divers with more information and one of the company’s team members in Virginia mapped new locations, including some off of highways.
The search team went to a pond at the Disney World exit on I-4, and sonar detected something in the water. Divers discovered a minivan in approximately 14 feet of water and confirmed the license plate matched the vehicle Lemire was driving.
Sullivan contacted Timothy, Lemire’s son, after discovering the minivan in the pond. He said the call was “very emotional.” Sullivan told The Orlando Sentinel that he told Timothy that divers were above his mother.
Authorities in Orlando have not positively identified the remains of the woman found in the vehicle, but Sullivan believes they are Lemire’s. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will identify the remains. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
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