The Coconut Creek Police Department has confirmed that it's found skeletal remains inside the green Ford Thunderbird it pulled out of a murky canal in Coconut Creek over the weekend.
It's believed that the remains belong to William Naylor, a man who had not been seen since February 2005. The Thunderbird was discovered in the canal, which sits just behind where Naylor had been living.
The Broward Medical Examiner's Office will look to confirm that the remains belong to Naylor via dental records.
Naylor was 69 years old and suffering from Parkinson's disease when he disappeared. On the last day he was seen, his two daughters asked him to move into an assisted-living facility, according to the Sun Sentinel. Naylor was apparently upset over this and drove off angrily. He was reportedly on medication that could cause him to hallucinate.
For several years after his disappearance, his daughters and other family members scoured South Florida, looking for his whereabouts. Their search took them as far as North Carolina, where the family hoped they would find his car abandoned by the side of the road somewhere.
But five years after Naylor vanished, the family reconciled that he had been dead, decided to end their search, and filed for a death certificate.
On Saturday, the car was discovered in the canal near the 4900 block of W. Copans Road, just behind the home where Naylor lived.
His daughters and family watched as authorities lifted the car out of the canal with a crane. They then identified the vehicle as Naylor's Thunderbird.
Daughter Jeanie Naylor kept repeating, "This is not real," according to the SunSentinel .
Although Coconut Creek Police are saying that while they've confirmed finding remains in the car, this remains an ongoing investigation.
But it would appear that, after nine years of not knowing, William Nayor's family finally has closure.