Society

Nine-Year Mystery Comes To An End After Missing Man's Remains Found In Michigan Pond

| by Jonathan Constante
car being pulled out of pond in Michigancar being pulled out of pond in Michigan

The skeletal remains of a man who was missing for nine years were reportedly found inside of a car submerged in a Michigan pond.

David Lee Niles was last seen on Oct. 11, 2006 leaving Jake’s Bar in Byron Township, WOOD-TV reported.

His family said he met up with a friend, but left abruptly. They added that Niles was struggling with depression and had cancer.

By 2011, the family had lost hope in finding Niles and published an obituary for him online.

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(David Lee Niles. Photo Credit: Family photo via Daily Mail)

“Davie Lee Niles, age 72, of Wyoming, passed away and only God knows the time and place,” the obituary, published on LifeStoryNet.com, reads.

On Nov. 10, Brian Houseman was decorating a Christmas tree outside of Cook Funeral Home in Byron Center, according to WOOD-TV. While on a lift, he spotted a vehicle submerged in a pond.

(Brian Houseman. Photo Credit: WOOD-TV via Daily Mail)

“All of a sudden, it's like, 'Whoa, there's a car out there,” Houseman told WOOD-TV. “No one could ever see it. It was murky and things moved around.”

Houseman called the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and a wrecking crew was sent to remove the vehicle from the pond.

(Car being pulled out of Michigan pond. Photo Credit: WOOD-TV via Daily Mail)

Authorities found skeletal remains in the driver’s seat and a wallet that appeared to belong to Niles. They are waiting for dental records to positively identify the remains.

The pond is located about a half a mile from where Niles was last seen, and the family believes the 9-year-old mystery is finally over.

“For us today, it's a closure of a long search.Why God waited nine years, I have no idea, but we're happy, ” Scott Hathaway, Niles' son-in-law, said.

"It's good to have him home," Hathaway added.

It is still unclear what exactly happened to Niles, but foul play is not suspected.

“I don’t know that we’re ever going to be able to determine if it’s suicide or accidental.” Kent County Sheriff’s Lt. Ron Gates said. “[It’s] pretty bizarre.”

Interestingly enough, the vehicle inside the pond could also be seen on Google Maps, according to reports.

(Aerial view of the pond in Michigan where a vehicle containing a man's remains was found. Photo Credit: Google via Daily Mail)

Sources: WOOD-TV, Life Story / Photo Credit: WOOD-TV via Daily Mail, SomeoneMissing.com via WOOD-TV