Authorities say body in car pulled from Florida lake is missing woman Apryl Foster

Police: Clothing matches what Apryl Foster was last seen wearing


Authorities in Florida have formally identified the body of Apryl Foster, who had been missing for 11 days after she was last seen leaving a karaoke bar in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa. 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office announcement Monday came one day after divers recovered Foster's red Chevrolet Aero with her body inside. Surveillance video showed that she had driven it through a gate, down a boat ramp, and into a small lake less than a half-mile from her home in Brandon.

Rachel Swofford, a friend of Rachel's, told MyFoxTampaBay that she had watched the surveillance video with investigators and Foster's parents.

"She just slowly turned her blinker on, turned and just thinking it was a road and went right into the water," Swafford said. "It's unreal knowing that that was the last that she was there, and just not knowing whether she was suffering or for how long in the car, it's difficult to process."

Swafford dismissed one possible explanation for Foster's deadly mistake, saying she was certain her friend wasn't driving drunk. 

"[Apryl] would have called someone. She would have taken an Uber. She has friends here in Ybor," Swafford said.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Foster appeared to have taken a wrong turn into an unfamiliar neighborhood on the final stretch of her journey home from the bar where she was last seen. The lake would not have been visible from the area's main roads, even in broad daylight, according to the paper. 

Another mystery is whether the gate leading to the boat ramp and an adjacent parking lot was closed and locked during the night, as it should have been. Foster's friends said they believe the gate was open before she drove down the ramp. However, the president of the community's homeowner's association, Steve Reiter, said the first anyone noticed the gate was open was Feb. 12, the day Apryl was reported missing. Detectives have not commented on that aspect of the case.

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