Investigators found a body in a pond in the area where they were searching for missing mother Lois Wilmeth Garcia (investigators previously released her name as Loisisnett Garcia-Rengel) on Wednesday. Deputies confirmed to WFTV that they are working a death investigation in the area.
The 40-year-old native of Venezuela was last seen by her kids Tuesday morning as she walked them to Lake Nona Middle School less than a mile from their gated community.
Garcia’s husband reported her missing Tuesday afternoon when she failed to return from her walk along Narcoosee Road to take her kids to Lake Nona Middle School. He told dispatchers that Garcia suffered from depression and was on medication.
Just after noon Wednesday, WFTV found members of Garcia's family passing out fliers at a shopping center, hoping someone could help them find the missing mother of three.
“She's a wonderful mom, she loves her children,” her sister-in-law Becky Dorner said. “They're being extremely brave in the face of this. I can't imagine being a child and not knowing where your mom is.”
But just minutes after speaking with WFTV, Dorner got a devastating phone call: A body had been found in a retention pond at the entrance of the family's subdivision.
The discovery was made as a detective retraced that walk to school with Garcia's son.
The detective that was with the young man noticed something that didn't look right in the water. He motioned for the child to move on.
Sheriff Jerry Demings said the body appears to be the missing mom, and her actions before she disappeared may rule out foul play.
Orange County investigators said that Garcia made a call from her cell phone to 911 Tuesday morning. Sheriff Jerry Demings said that in the call, she expressed concern about her children.
“From what I understand, the dispatcher understood her to say that was the primary reason she was calling, to make certain that someone picked up the children,” Demings said.
Investigators said she sounded nervous and was crying.
Approximately two hours later, according to Demings, Garcia called her daughter’s phone telling her she would have to walk home from school.
Demings said investigators had not ruled out foul play in the death, but he said that there was no indication that the community need to be concerned that foul play was involved in the case.
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