PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- The Punta Gorda Police Department located a car in a canal Wednesday that they believe may belong to 64-year-old Frances Hendrickson, who has been missing since 1993. Upon removing the vehicle from the water, authorities discovered human skeletal remains inside the car. FDLE will take custody of the remains, and expect possible identification in a week.
Based on the evidence found at the scene, investigators are confident that this is the vehicle and remains of Frances Hendrickson
Police credit a sonar system, borrowed from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, with finding the vehicle in a canal behind the intersection of Whippoorwill Blvd. and Eider Street, just blocks from the missing woman’s home. Police say this area was previously searched by air and water numerous times. They sent a dive team down with an underwater camera, and confirmed the vehicle was lodged three to four feet into the canal bed. The canal is 18 feet deep. The car is covered in barnacles, but officials were able to tell that it's a light-colored station wagon. Police say the make, model, and year of the car match Hendrickson missing vehicle.
In June 1993, Hendrickson was last seen by a neighbor driving her 1987 light blue colored Buick station wagon.
Hendrickson's family, who lives in Connecticut, has been notified that this might be her car.
Punta Gorda Police's Traffic Homicide Unit is present to analyze the scene, since there's a good chance Hendrickson drove through a yard, leaving residual damage to a sea wall.