How Sandra Lemire was Found After More than 10 years

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The Disappearance of Sandra Lemire

Sandra Lemire, a 47-year-old Florida woman, left her grandmother’s house in Orlando on May 8, 2012. She drove her grandmother’s 2004 Ford Freestar minivan to Kissimmee because she had planned to see someone she met on an online dating site.

Sandra called her grandmother to let her know she got to Kissimmee safely and promised to call again before heading back home. But she never contacted anyone again, and that was the last anyone heard from her. The last time anyone saw Sandra was when she left Denny’s restaurant in Kissimmee, driving the minivan.

Sandra Lemire

After some investigations, the police concluded that the man whom Sandra had met was not connected to her disappearance.

During an interview, the man stated that he met Sandra at the McDonald’s restaurant where he was employed. Subsequently, they went their separate ways.

Sandra’s grandmother, Pauline Varner, told the reporters that she was worried about Sandra’s health because she had diabetes and did not have any insulin with her.

Varner expressed her anguish, saying, “It’s very hard because the doubt is troubling. I can only wish that she is okay.” Varner also said that Sandra had called her when she got to her destination, as she said she would. But Sandra never called Varner again before she left, which was not what she promised.”

Varner emphasized that Sandra’s behavior was out of character, explaining, “This is highly unusual for her because even if she goes to the store, she always informs us, saying, ‘I’ll be back within an hour,’ and she consistently returns on time.”

Finding Sandra

A decade after she disappeared under suspicious conditions Sandra’s body has recently been found. Sandra’s remains were found trapped in the car she was driving in a pond on Interstate 4, close to the Disney World exit in Kissimmee, Florida.

The woman’s son, Timothy, had contacted a volunteer search team to find out what happened to his mother after the authorities had searched for almost ten years.

Timothy Lemire confirmed on Facebook that his mother’s remains were found. He wrote, “After years of not knowing what happened to her, they finally found my mom’s van! The Sunshine State Sonar team did an amazing job… They solved this long and mysterious case.”

The recovered car

Tim said that finding his mother gave him some peace, but he still wondered about her final moments.

He said, “It looks like she drove off the exit ramp too fast and sank in the water. The worst thing for me is thinking about whether she was in pain… or if she realized she was stuck and couldn’t get out!”

“I’m heartbroken by the idea that she might have known she was going to die. I don’t know how to deal with it… I just wish I could have said goodbye to her.”

According to Sunshine State Sonar, the crew that assisted in locating her remains, Sandra Lemire’s body was discovered within a minivan submerged 14 feet deep in a retention pond located adjacent to an interstate highway.

The recovered car

For 17 months, Sunshine State Sonar worked with Orlando Police Department detectives to search 63 bodies of water. They started in July 2022. After the detectives shared more information about Lemire’s case, one volunteer started looking for new places to search, such as some highways. They found Lemire’s body and the van in a retention pond near the Disney World exit on the I-4 highway in Kissimmee, using their sonar technology.

Sunshine State Sonar is a Florida-based volunteer search and recovery team that focuses on utilizing sonar and underwater technology for their operations.

According to Mike Sullivan from Sunshine State Sonar, the search team utilized advanced technology that was unavailable at the time of Sandra Lemire’s disappearance in 2012. This technology enabled them to locate and find her.

Source: Vocal Media

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