Alexandra Picon and Brandon Arana have been found dead after police discovered the bodies of the missing couple inside a submerged car in a remote stretch of Miami-Dade.
The couple went missing Sunday morning, prompting a massive search stretching across the county. Search crews appeared to make a grim discovery on Thursday in the southwest part of the county, finding a damaged guardrail and shattered car parts near the body of water.
Brandon Arana & Ali Picon have been missing since Saturday in Miami. Please spread the news and help find them. pic.twitter.com/AtaFaDNGpG
— john shahidi (@john) February 3, 2016
Aerial footage from the scene showed a number of police cars and a Toyota Carolla that matched license plates for the vehicle driven by the couple, NBC News reported.
On Thursday afternoon, Alexandra’s aunt Martha Picon shared a message on Facebook confirming that the couple died.
“I regret to inform you that Alexandra Picón And Brandon Arana unfortunately have been found deceased in a lake in south dade both bodies inside car.
Please, pray for the family
Thank all of you for your effort for re-posting and helping us with your prayers.
Prior to her confirmation, police in Miami-Dade had not officially released the identities of the two found in the car.
“The vehicle is a red Toyota Corolla and it does have two deceased people inside,” Miami-Dade Police spokeswoman Jennifer Capote said. “The investigators have identified this vehicle to be the same in which Brandon Arana and Alexandra Picon were last seen on Sunday morning when they were reported missing.”
The families of Alexandra Picon and Brandon Arana are still searching for answers of how the two ended up driving into the lake.
“We don’t have any details of how the car ended in the water or anything else,” Picon family member Susy Rivero-Ayala said at the scene Thursday. “[The family is] devastated, it hasn’t been confirmed but they’re devastated.”
Alexandra’s mother had reported her missing in the early morning hours on Sunday after her daughter failed to come home. Alexandra had sent her mother a text message at around 3 a.m. on Sunday saying that she had just left work after a “horrible shift” and was getting a drink with a friend before coming home.
Rest in peace Alexandra Picon and Brandon Arana. pic.twitter.com/2iS7Jul4h6
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) February 4, 2016
After several hours passed, Rita Picon said she became worried and called police. She said Alexandra’s cell phone was turned off and she had not used her debit or credit cards.
“I just want to hear her voice, know she’s okay. I want her to come home but mostly, I just want her to be safe,” Rita Picon told NBC Miami during the search for the missing couple.
The search for Alexandra Picon and Brandon Arana played out less than a week after another tragic search a few states away. Last week, 13-year-old Nicole Lovell went missing from her home in Virginia, and after a frantic search that stretched for more than three days, investigators found the body of the young girl.
Police later arrested a Virginia Tech freshman, David Eisenhauer, for the girl’s murder. Police claimed that the two met online and that Eisenhauer exploited this relationship so he could abduct and ultimately kill the teen.
The bodies of Alexandra Picon and Brandon Arana will be taken to a medical examiner’s office for autopsy and for final identification, police said. They have not yet released full details about how the pair may have ended up submerged in the water, but they said initial indications point to a traffic accident, with no apparent signs of foul play.
[Image via Facebook]