Body found after vehicle owned by missing Jackson Co. woman pulled from pond

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MERIDEN, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Meriden homeowner mowing his lawn Wednesday led to a major break in the search for a Jackson Co. woman who vanished more than two years ago.

Jefferson Co. officials confirmed they found Joan Rebar's vehicle Wednesday afternoon at the bottom of a Jefferson Co. pond. The 70-year-old woman has not been seen since September 2015.

Sheriff Jeff Herrig told 13 NEWS a body was found in the vehicle, but they have not been able to confirm an identity.

Because recent dry weather had lowered water levels in the pond, Jefferson Co. Sheriff Jeff Herrig said the homeowner spotted the top of the vehicle in the pond and contacted authorities. Dive teams were called in and confirmed the vehicle did belong to Rebar.

Crews on the scene drained the pond in order to reach the vehicle. They chose that course rather than simply towing it out to avoid disrupting any potential evidence.

Last September, Jackson Co. Sheriff Tim Morse told 13 NEWS, while they initially hoped it was a missing persons case, they have been treating the investigation as a homicide since it began.

Officials say the pond where Rebar's vehicle was found was very near the location where her cell phone was last pinged.

It is also approximately a mile from the Meriden VFW where she was last seen. Surveillance video recorded her leaving the facility in the 600 block of E. Palmer St. in Meriden, but she never made it to her home on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, near Mayetta.