Woman’s Body Found In Pond Near Disney World After 12 Years

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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A woman’s body trapped inside a submerged vehicle was found over the weekend in a pond near Disney World, reportedly solving a 12-year missing persons case.

Volunteer divers from an organization called Sunshine State Sonar (SSS) posted to social media stating that they allegedly found the remains of a woman identified as Sandra Lemire on Saturday, the release stated. The group had located the red 2004 Ford Freestar minivan, which was her grandmother’s car, submerged in a small retention pond near the exit of Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida, according to the SSS. (RELATED: Video Allegedly Shows Samuel Haskell Jr. Discarding Large Object In Dumpster, Possibly Connected To Recovered Torso)

Lemire had left her grandmother’s home in the minivan on May 8, 2012, heading to Kissimmee to allegedly meet up with a man she had been talking to “through an online dating service,” according to the group. However, after calling her grandmother to tell her she had arrived in the city, she was never heard from again and was last seen leaving a Denny’s restaurant in the area, the release stated.

The SSS team’s mission, according to their site, is to “find missing person’s, vehicles or vessels,” specializing in sonar works and providing assistance to law enforcement agencies with the “recovery and preservation of evidence.” The diving team collaborated with the Orlando Police Department (OPD), hitting a total of 63 bodies of water within the last 17 months before finally finding Lemire’s car, according to their released statement.

While the first search had taken place on July 2, 2022, the SSS team stated that deceptive from OPD provided “additional information” that had “prompted” the recent search. (RELATED: Neighbors Heard Screams For Help Weeks Before Missing Man’s Body Was Found Stuck In Chimney, Police Say)

“With the new information, one of our incredible team members, in Virginia, started mapping new locations, which included a variety of highway locations. At approximately 1:30 PM on December 30, 2023 we got a hit on sonar in a small retention pond at the Disney World exit on I4. We located what appeared to be a minivan submerged in 14 feet of water,” the statement read.

Authorities from the OPD confirmed that the vehicle is connected to Lemire’s case, with the SSS verifying the found license plate to Lemire’s minivan, according to NBC News. Due to the information given, the team found that Lemire’s car had ended up in the pond following a car accident, the outlet reported.

A member of the SSS team, Mike Sullivan, told WESH of Orlando that the incident had “turned out to be” a “terrible car accident,” praising his team for the work put in.

“Deep in my heart, I always thought this was a foul play case. And it turned out to be just a bad, terrible car accident,” Sullivan told WESH of Orlando. “I’m just so proud of our team.”

Following the news of Lemire’s discovery, her son, Timothy Lemire Jr. and his father, who was Lemire’s ex-husband, stated the “mixed emotions” that the family was in.

“It’s a lot of mixed emotions,” Lemire Jr. told WESH. “I’m happy she wasn’t murdered or kidnapped or anything like that because we’ve been thinking that for years.”

“There’s this one video where you can see the van on the tow truck and the truck pulling off. And he said, ‘Timothy, we’re finally bringing your mother home,'” Lemire Jr. continued to tell WESH. “And that destroyed me when he said that. After all these years.”

Authorities noted that they are still waiting on “positive identification of the human remains that were located in the vehicle,” according to WESH.