POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County family waited 10 months for answers on their loved one’s whereabouts and now, the loss is fresh once again.

“It’s a hard day. It is. It’s brought it all back,” said Vera Shupe, Margaret “Jan” Shupe Smith’s sister.

Smith, 59, went missing on April 2, 2021. She was known to be driving a Kia.

Neither Smith nor the Kia had been seen since.

A wrecker pulled the Kia out of a retention pond on Wednesday, deep in a new residential development in north Lakeland called “Hunter’s Crossing.”

“Since April 2, you think every day, ‘where else can I look?’ It’s on your mind every day but now that’s over,” said Vera Shupe.

Soon after Smith and her Kia went missing, a family member contacted “Adventures With Purpose,” a team that specializes in search and recovery missions using state-of-the-art sonar equipment. The team posts its discoveries on YouTube, where the channel has more than 1.7 million subscribers.

The “Adventures With Purpose” team searched for Smith’s car in several bodies of water in Lakeland Tuesday.

The members almost gave up until they were told by a Polk County deputy that Smith had been in a car crash on the day she went missing.

The team learned the retention pond down Victoria Road was about a mile from the crash site.

Within minutes of diving into the shallow pond, the Kia was discovered.

A body was inside but its identity has not been confirmed.

“I am so grateful for them and that’s a wonderful thing that they do – going all over and finding people. I didn’t think we’d ever find her,” said Shupe. “I didn’t want to waste their time because they’ve been looking for her for 10 months.”

“You want to provide the family with answers. We never say closure but it’s the answers that they need so they can finally mourn and move on,” said Carson McMaster, with the “Adventures With Purpose” team.

Vera and Marley Shupe, Smith’s daughter, visited the retention pond on Thursday where the Kia was discovered.

“It’s making it all new again,” said Vera Shupe.

“It’s harder,” said Marley Shupe. “Why weren’t there signs saying that the road was ending? Why wasn’t there any signs to let her know that there was a pond at the end of the road that was just gravel and sand?”

Shortly after they left the site Thursday afternoon, a sign was placed at the end of Victoria Road that reads “Road Ends in Water.”

Some may wonder how “Adventures With Purpose” found the vehicle so quickly as the Polk County Sheriff’s Office had the case for ten months.

“It’s not anything that [law enforcement agencies] lack. It’s just – if they don’t have anything to go off of, they have to justify their resources. We don’t have to justify anything,” explained Bishop.

“This was a tragic accident, and our prayers are with the family. We’re grateful for ‘Adventures with Purpose’ working with us in locating the vehicle,” Sheriff Grady Judd wrote in a statement.