The body of a missing Florida grandmother who disappeared back in December was found inside a car in a drained canal.
The car was first found when Palm Beach County officials lowered the water levels of a canal at Boca Ration in preparation for Hurricane Irma, Palm Beach Post reported. Loraine Feliciano-Pino’s body was discovered inside the car.
“I feel like years would have went by if it weren’t for something horrible like the hurricane to happen because we would never have found her,” Rosannie Feliciano, sister of the grandmother told The Palm Beach Post.
“Out of something tragic, something good,” Feliciano said, “Now we can start to heal and grieve.”
Deputies were called to the canal on Saturday, Sept. 9, when a 2011 gray Toyota RAV4 emerged, the New York Post reported.
The 47-year-old mother of two and grandmother of two was last seen leaving her home on Dec. 19 in the same Toyota.
One of the daughters, Kailanni Lorea Lamy, said that there were still “a lot of unanswered questions” for investigators to uncover.
“My entire world came crashing down over the weekend,” Lamy wrote in a Facebook post. “Although it brings some closure after 9 excruciating months of searching, nothing could have prepared me for this news. My mom was finally found but unfortunately, it wasn’t the result I was praying for.”
Family members said that Feliciano-Pino disappeared less than a week before she was meant to go on a family Christmas trip. They said that her phone was either off or had died and that there were no credit card or bank transactions for detectives to follow, Palm Beach Post reported.
During the search for Loraine, family members for months reached out on social media, to the media, and also put up posters across the county.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office previously searched canals and areas across the county, but it was wasn’t until nearly nine months later that they finally found her. But her sister said that she had previously urged detectives to search the same canal.
“I was initially completely shocked, then was very angry,” Rosannie Feliciano told the Palm Beach Post. “I can’t tell you how many times I said (to detectives) can we please check this canal because it was close to where she lived.”
Detectives said that Loraine’s personal belongings, including her phone, were still inside the car. As of writing, authorities have not yet officially identified the body and an autopsy to find the cause of death is still pending.
The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office did say that they reviewed the body of a woman named Loraine Pino on Saturday but no additional information was provided because of delays and closures caused by Hurricane Irma, the Palm Beach Post reported.