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Remains of mom missing for years found in pond near Disney World

Sandra Lemire's car found in retention pond on the side of I4 near the Disney World exit in Kissimmee Florida. (Provided Photo/Sunshine State Sonar)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WISH) — An Orlando family finally received closure after nearly 12 years of searching for a mother whose remains were recovered on New Year’s Eve in a retention pond near Disney World.

Sandra Lemire’s remains were found in a vehicle submerged in a retention pond on the side of I-4 near the Disney World exit in Kissimmee, Florida, according to a social media post from Sunshine State Sonar on Sunday.

In the social media post, details revealed that leading up to Lemire’s disappearance, on May 8, 2012, she had left her grandmother’s home in Orlando, driving her grandmother’s red 2004 Ford Freestar minivan to meet up with a man she had been talking with through an online dating service.

She called her grandmother once she made it to Kissimmee — where she was meeting the man — promising to call her again once she began her journey home, but she never did.

Investigators say that Lemire was last seen at a Denny’s restaurant in Kissimmee.

Sunshine State Sonar in collaboration with detectives from the Orlando Police Department, used devices to search a total of 63 bodies of water over the last 17 months in hopes of finding clues in the disappearance of Lemire.

The first search took place on July 2, 2022. Last week, detectives provided additional information that prompted this past weekend’s search. With the new information provided, investigators started mapping new locations, which included a variety of highway locations.

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, investigators located what looked to be a minivan submerged in 14 feet of water at the pond near Disney World. They confirmed the license plate on the minivan that matched the one that went missing 12 years ago.

“This extremely challenging recovery was an incredible collaboration of different law-enforcement agencies. We would like to thank Orlando Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office,, Florida Highway Patrol, AATR Orlando Towing & Recoveryand Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. All assisted in the recovery.

💔 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.”

Sunshine State Sonar