As the sun began to set on Thursday, investigators pulled Rose Bruce's blue Honda Accord out of a retention pond in Ormond Beach. Friends and co-workers of the 79-year-old woman, watched and prayed.
"Strength for her family and courage for her family and the best," said Kim Parks, a friend who's worked with Rose for seven years.
Rose Bruce was last seen Monday around 10 p.m. when her shift ended at the local Walmart. An hour later, she was supposed to return to pick up her daughter-in-law, but never made it back. When family showed up at Rose's apartment, the door was unlocked, and smoke billowed out of the oven where the elderly woman's dinner was burning. Rose was no where to be found, her car gone.
"It's been hectic," said Parks. "She was a sweet lady. Really good at what she did. She cared about everybody."
Investigators looked high and low for Rose and her Honda. Rose's car didn't make it very far. The retention pond where her car was found is less than two hundred yards from the front of Rose's apartment complex.
"We have of course looked this area before," said Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught.
When three days went by, and there was still no sign of Rose, investigators started to retrace their steps. They flew their helicopter and put a boat in a nearby lake.
Parks was shocked the car was so close. "It was out of the way of where she was going," she said, pointing out that if Rose was driving her car when it went into the lake, it was in the opposite direction of where she needed to go to pick up her daughter-in-law.
Investigators used the license plate number to confirm the car belongs to Bruce. Florida Highway Patrols said the body found inside was not identifiable. Right now, we're waiting for the Medical Examiner to make a positive match.