The Lee County Sheriff’s Department says the woman found in the pond behind Matanzas Pass Preserve on Labor Day has been identified as 56 year old Denise Thiel from New York. The rental vehicle pulled from the water a day later was also linked to Thiel. LCSO says there was no foul play and the incident was determined to be accidental.
A hiker saw a body in the pond on September 5th behind the Matanzas Pass Preserve and notified LCSO. Deputies pulled Thiel’s body from the water but were unable to identify her from fingerprints.
Deputies returned to the scene on Tuesday, September 7th and searched the lake with a robot. Divers followed and located the car which was towed out of the water.
The car was a rental and eventually linked to Thiel. It’s unclear how Thiel drove into the lake. Neighbors in the area say they never heard anything and they did not notice any of the grass around the pond torn up with tire tracks.