Body of Punta Gorda woman missing for 20 years found in car in canal

PUNTA GORDA — Authorities say the remains of a Southwest Florida woman who went missing in 1993 were found in a car pulled from a Punta Gorda canal.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports the Buick station wagon was found earlier this month. Police announced Monday that dental records matched Frances Hendrickson, who was 64 years old when she went for a drive on June 30, 1993.

After Hendrickson went missing, police searched canals because she was known to be a poor driver. They used divers and sonar equipment but the search didn't turn up anything.

The newspaper reports the case was reopened two years ago using new sonar equipment. Two weeks ago, the search paid off. Divers found the submerged car and forensics experts went to work identifying the remains.

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