SOUTH BETHANY – Police say they are investigating a fatal crash after the body and car of a missing Bethany Beach woman were recovered from a canal late last week.
At around 5:45 p.m. last Friday, June 28, police responded to the area of Bayshore Drive in South Bethany for a reported human body that was found floating in a canal.
South Bethany Police were assisted by the Bethany Beach Police, Ocean View Police, Delaware State Police and the Bethany Fire & Rescue units to recover the body, which was later identified as Linda Lee Bravo, 70, of Bethany Beach.
Authorities have since ruled her death as an accidental drowning.
Bravo was reported missing on June 14 after a concerned neighbor noticed she did not return home from the night prior. Bravo was last seen Thursday, June 13, at Sea Colony East in Bethany Beach.
Following her disappearance, Bethany Beach Police partnered with the Delaware State Police Major Crimes Unit, neighboring law enforcement agencies and the FBI to further its investigation. According to the agency, surveillance footage captured Bravo’s car – a 2011 Mercedes GLK 350 – traveling southbound on Route 1 near Bethany Beach the night she went missing and the last reported cellphone ping was located just south of the town.
On June 29, the day after Bravo’s body was found, Bethany Police and the Delaware State Police SCUBA/Dive unit assisted South Bethany Police to conduct another search in the area where the deceased victim was located.
During that search, the divers located a white Mercedes-Benz, which was later identified as Bravo’s vehicle.
South Bethany Police Chief Jason Lovins said the department is conducting a death investigation with the assistance of the Delaware State Police CRU, Troop 4 detectives and the Bethany Beach Police.
A spokeswoman for the Bethany Beach Police Department declined to comment further this week.
“The body has been located, and the missing person investigation is now over,” she said.
Based on an investigative analysis from the Delaware State Police, the fatal crash occurred on June 14 at approximately 12:57 a.m., when a 2011 Mercedes GLK 350, four-door sedan, was traveling northbound on York Road approaching Rebecca Road.
York Road is a residential roadway that terminates at a canal access ramp a short distance north of Rebecca Road. A thin cable wire was strung across the entrance to the access ramp.
For unknown reasons, after passing Rebecca Road, the Mercedes continued traveling northbound where it entered onto the canal access ramp, struck and ran through the cable wire, and entered into the canal.
Once entering into the canal, the Mercedes sank to the bottom and was located on June 29.
The incident occurred within a residential community, and no roadways were closed during the investigation.
The crash continues to remain under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.