Now the truck has turned up in a pond in a Disney community with three badly decomposed bodies inside, reports David Robichaud of CBS station WBZ in Boston.
The three may have misjudged a tricky turn at Celebration, the planned community built by Disney about 20 miles southwest of Orlando. Nine months after they disappeared, divers found three bodies Monday believed to be the missing men and their vehicle in a retention pond.
On Tuesday, the medical examiner was awaiting dental records from Massachusetts to confirm that the bodies were Scott Renquin, 35; Dan Nelson, 32; and Roger DesVergnes, 31.
"We are partially relieved, but mostly sad," said Julie Renquin, Scott Renquin's sister-in-law. "Now we are finally starting to mourn."
The families back in Attleboro, Mass., wondered if the men were still alive and set up a Web site seeking information. Clairvoyants who contacted the families predicted they had died in the Everglades or elsewhere in the Florida wild.
Instead the mud-filled truck was found upside down in 16 feet of water about 125 feet from the road. The windshield was shattered and part of the front right side of the vehicle was smashed in.
Investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol were not quite sure what caused the men's vehicle to go into the water, but they expected to have more answers after inspecting the vehicle late Tuesday. None of the men were wearing seatbelts.
"We're treating it as a single car crash," said Lt. Chuck Williams, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol. "There's no evidence that another car was involved and there is no evidence there was foul play."
A ball and a wallet were found in the vehicle and the bodies were badly decomposed, said Al Caime, manager of A.R.C. Towing, whose truck towed the vehicle out of the water. He said it appeared the driver had smashed the windshield with his head.
"I don't understand why the others couldn't get out," he said. "The windows weren't broken. The windows were open."
In the past few months, almost a half-dozen cars have ended up in the pond, including one belonging to a teen-age girl who died last year after driving into the water. Drivers who miss the stop sign at the end of World Drive, where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour, and fail to turn left on Celebration Boulevard can end up in the pond. The water is about 15 feet below road surface.
Investigators decided to look for the missing men in the pond because of the number of vehicles that have ended up there.
The Celebration Co., the Disney subsidiary which manages the town, has since built a wall at the intersection, which will serve as an entrance marker and also prvent cars from going into the water.