PCSO recovered body of a Zephyrhills man and his car from a pond Thursday
The body of a Zephyrhills man was found in his car, Thursday, November 11, 2021, submerged in a pond near Polk City.
Family members of 39-year old Jose Mercado contacted deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office just after 1:00 PM Thursday afternoon, to report the man missing. They reported that he left a residence at around 1:00 AM (twelve hours earlier) to go home, but he never arrived.
One of Mercado’s relatives checked the location of his phone, and it showed that it was near the intersection of Moore Road and Deen Still Road. When the family went to that location, they found evidence of a possible crash at the scene, and contacted the PCSO.
Deputies responded and launched a drone, which soon revealed what appeared to be a submerged vehicle in the pond.
The PCSO’s USART (Underwater Search And Recovery Team) members were brought in and confirmed there was a vehicle in the pond, and assisted with its removal.
Mr. Mercado was found deceased inside of the black 2013 Dodge Durango, and detectives from the PCSO’s Traffic Homicide Investigations took over the crash investigation, with assistance from the Crime Scene Unit.
Based on evidence from the scene, Mr. Mercado’s Dodge had been travelling north on Moore Road at a high rate of speed, and failed to stop at the intersection with Deen Still Road, which is where Moore Road ends.
Mr. Mercado’s Dodge went over an embankment, and began to topple end-over-end before landing in the pond.
Mr. Mercado was not wearing a seat belt.
The investigation is ongoing.