Car with Marco driver inside plucked from canal
Missing Marco woman found dead in car ...
Sandhill Street on Marco Island
MARCO ISLAND — 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.