POLK CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — Deputies recovered a Zephyrhills man’s body from a pond Thursday afternoon after finding his SUV submerged inside a pond, according to the Polk Countyheriff’s office.
Deputies said the family of Jose Mercado, 39, reported him missing around 1 p.m. The family told authorities Mercado left from someone else’s residence around 1 a.m. to go back home but never returned.
When the family checked his phone’s last known location, they discovered he was at the intersection of Moore Road and Deen Still Road. When they got there, all they found was evidence of a car crash, the sheriff’s office said.
After getting the call for help, deputies used a drone to search the area and found Mercado’s Dodge Durango in a pond.
The sheriff’s office said Mercado was found dead inside the SUV while the PCSO Underwater Search And Recovery Team recovered the vehicle.
The sheriff’s office determined that Mercado was driving at a high speed when he failed to stop at the intersection, went over an embankment, and toppled before landing in the pond.
Deputies said Mercado was not wearing a seatbelt at the time.