Update: Missing woman found dead in car pulled from Marco canal

Clare Tucker, 90, found in the canal near her home

Car with Marco driver inside plucked from canal

Missing Marco woman found dead in car ...

— Marco Island Police Department investigators discovered Clare Tucker, 90, of Marco Island, dead in her car in a canal near Sandhill Street.

Marco Island Police Chief Thom Carr said friends and neighbors of Tucker reported her missing on Thursday evening. She had last been seen at about 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday when she was driving home in the rain after having dinner out with friends.

“Friends said she didn’t like driving at night and it was raining like hell that night,” Carr said.

Detective Glenn Zirgibel said police began looking for Tucker at about 8 p.m. Thursday when they got the call that she was missing.

“We began looking for any signs of tire marks going off the road, especially near the bridges and canals in case she might have run off the road,” Carr said.

Zirgibel began walking the perimeter of canals along the street where the woman lived alone with her dogs. Police reported that Zirgibel believed he found the spot at about 11 a.m. today.

Though he reportedly saw no tire marks in the grass of the empty lot near the 300 block of Sand Hill Street, he saw red paint rubbed off on the cement cap of a seawall.

The location was only a couple blocks away from Tucker’s home on the 500 block of Sand Hill Street.

Marco Island police used a pole, sinking it in the water, to detect what they believed was the car.

Marco marine patrol and the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department’s dive team was called in to search the waters. The divers, Capt. Jimmy Pope, Lt. Ross Riegler and firefighter Chris Bowden found the red car, which matched the description that friends and neighbors had given the police the night before. They also confirmed, at about 12 p.m., that a woman fitting the description of the missing person’s report was inside.

Marco resident George Percel, who lives in a house located along the canal where the car was found, said he “didn’t see or hear a thing” on Wednesday evening, or any time this week.

“It’s a continuing investigation at this time, a traffic homicide,” Carr said. “It looks like she got disoriented in the rain at night.”

Tucker is not believed to be of any familial relation to E. Glenn Tucker, the former City Councilman who passed away in 2009, and she has no family on-Island, police reported.

The Collier County Medical Examiner requested the woman’s body be kept in the car while Bald Eagle Towing extracted the vehicle from the canal.

The medical examiner is investigating the cause of death.

“She could have suffered a physical ailment before the car went over the seawall being that she was 90 years old, but we just don’t know,” Zirgibel said.

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Comments » 6

Yankee writes:

What a shame. The poor woman lived to be 90 years old and ended her life in that way, it's very sad. Her friends never should have let her drive home in those conditions. At her age, she shouldn't be driving at night even if it wasn't raining, and probably shouldn't have been driving period.

ratsnake writes:

in response to rolomokat:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good point. Maybe they had to pull it out the opposite side of the canal from where she went in.

waterplay101 writes:

I agree that she should not be driving at 90, because our reflexes are not what they need to be. But I think when my time is up if I could be self reliant and die at 90 I would consider my self fortunate. My sympathy to friends and any family. Where did she dine the night that she died?

freedame writes:

What is with people trying to put guilt on others? The fact is the 90 year old lady was driving, and she was driving because she felt able to do so.

There are many scenarios that could've played out, but laying guilt on those she spent her last hours with is not one which should occur. Condolences to family and friends.

blogsmog writes:

God bless her.
Never had anyone her age cut me off or flip me off. ALL drivers suk - just try to merge onto the Jolley in season during rush hour - absolute idiots and worst of the worst drivers in the U.S.
Condolences to the family.

Marconian writes:

Age as well as Weather more than likely was the factor hear it was raining very heavy that night. but what I don't get is how you can travel over 200 ft thru 2 vacant lots and run into a canal without realizing your not on the road! did she fall asleep at the wheel or possibly have a stroke I guess we wont know since this sight only follows up on political chaos....

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