Solving a Decade-Old Mystery in Florida as Divers Find Missing Woman’s Vehicle Near Disney World

In a remarkable discovery that brings closure to a long-standing mystery, volunteer divers from Sunshine State Sonar have located the remains of Sandra Lemire, a Florida woman who vanished in 2012. This significant find was made in a retention pond near Disney World, marking the culmination of a dedicated search effort for Lemire, who disappeared after a date with a man she met online.

Lemire’s sudden disappearance over a decade ago left her family in a state of unresolved grief. The volunteer group, committed to finding missing persons and vehicles in Florida’s waterways, began their search for Lemire in July 2022. Collaborating closely with detectives from the Orlando Police Department, they scoured 63 bodies of water in the region.

This intense search led to a pivotal moment on December 30 when Sunshine State Sonar detected a sonar ping in a small retention pond located by the I4 highway near Disney World in Kissimmee. Upon investigation, the team discovered a submerged minivan in about 14 feet of water. The license plate matched the vehicle Lemire was last seen in, and human remains were also recovered from the site.

The team’s immediate notification to Lemire’s family provided a long-awaited sense of closure. Her son, Timothy Lemire Jr., and ex-husband, who had been deprived of the chance to conduct a funeral, expressed their gratitude to Mike Sullivan, the team leader of Sunshine State Sonar, and his group for their selfless efforts.

The recovery operation saw the involvement of multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Orlando Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. The ongoing investigation, now led by the Orlando police, is expected to provide more details as they emerge. The Florida Highway Patrol is handling the crash investigation, with the Medical Examiner’s Office working to formally identify the remains.

If confirmed as Sandra Lemire, this discovery would mark the seventh successful case for Sunshine State Sonar, a testament to their dedication and skill in locating missing individuals. The volunteer group’s statement reflects both their sorrow for the tragic outcome and their satisfaction in bringing resolution to the family: “Our hearts go out to her family who supported us along the way. We are saddened at the circumstances but glad we could assist in bringing her home. Rest in peace Sandra, you are finally home.”

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This case highlights the crucial role of volunteer organizations in aiding law enforcement and providing essential closure to families of missing persons. The discovery of Sandra Lemire’s remains not only solves a long-standing mystery but also underscores the compassion and commitment of groups like Sunshine State Sonar, whose efforts often go unrecognized.

In conclusion, the resolution of Sandra Lemire’s case provides a solemn reminder of the challenges faced in missing persons investigations and the invaluable contribution of volunteer groups to these efforts. It also brings a much-needed sense of closure to a family that has waited over a decade for answers, finally allowing them to mourn and remember their loved one.

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