Skeleton Linked to Man Missing For 12 Years Found by Drone

Human remains have been found in a submerged vehicle connected to a 2009 missing person case which was discovered by a nearby resident flying a drone.

The silver 2002 Ford Mustang car was spotted on Wednesday in a retention pond in the Bayside Lakes neighborhood in Palm Bay, in the eastern part of central Florida.

The vehicle was removed from the pond on Thursday by the Underwater Recovery Team of Palm Bay Police. Skeletal remains were found inside.

Palm Bay Police Lieutenant Jeff Spears said the car is associated with a missing person case involving 38-year-old Philippe Desir, a Palm Bay resident who has been missing since February 2009.

Police said the car's passenger and driver's side windows were rolled down and the vehicle found upside down.

The remains, which have not been identified and include an intact skull, have been sent to the medical examiner's office.

Police, who were also reported to have the dental records, are expected to formally identify the remains this week, according to Florida Today.

Desir was reported missing in 2009 by his wife who said at the time that "he just got up and left the house and that was pretty well the end of it," Palm Bay Police Lieutenant Chris Imel told FOX 35 Orlando.

"At this point, there does not appear to be any indication of foul play but yet again it is still under investigation. As far as suicide goes that is something else that is under investigation," Imel added.

Desir was reported to have lived just around the corner from the pond and was last seen wearing a red shirt and blue jeans, Florida Today reported.

Spears told Florida's Space Coast Daily: "There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his disappearance at that time.

"This was a cold case. But it's one of those situations where we do what we do. We always follow up on missing person cases every year to validate that the person is still missing," Spears told Florida Today.

Spears said water levels had dropped in recent weeks, which allowed the vehicle to be spotted.

Newsweek has contacted Palm Bay Police for further comment.

Other recent missing person cases

Earlier this month, police in Montana launched an investigation of possible links between serial killer Wayne Nance and a woman whose skeletal remains were recently identified from remains that were found in 1985 in Missoula County.

Also in early May, police in Washington state said a TikTok video may hold the key to an unsolved abduction from nearly two decades ago.

Sofia Lucerno Juarez has not been seen or heard from since she went missing in 2003 at the age of four in Kennewick.

A video posted on the social media platform of an interview with a woman in a town square in Mexico provided a new lead in the case. TikTok users noticed the woman in the video looked similar to the missing girl.

 A pond at Florida's Everglades National Park.
A view of Nine Mile Pond in Florida's Everglades National Park, pictured in February 2017. Skeletal remains were found in car submerged in a retention pond in Palm Bay. The vehicle is linked to a 2009 missing person case, police said. Rhona Wise/AFP via Getty Images