18 years of waiting appears over: Matt's Memo

Red Toyota Corolla lifted from the Oswego River.

Early this morning the sister of Carol Larsen Wood posted an aging photo on her Facebook page. It shows the eternal smile of a lovely young woman last seen alive 18 years ago. In 1996 there was no Facebook, there were posters. Janice Growe and the rest of Carol Wood's family and friends spent plenty of time posting flyers and reaching out to the media to bring attention to the unsolved missing persons case.

Janice changed her profile photo to her sister's image today because that's when police informed the family they found what is believed to be Carol Wood's car. The description was on posters an in news stories in the late 1990's. She was seen driving her 1993 red Toyota Corolla. This afternoon a heavy lift towing machine slowly pulled a car from the Oswego River bed. When it surfaced it was apparent it was a 1993 red Toyota Corolla.

The car had gone undetected for nearly two decades. An unrelated mapping of the river bed led to the discovery this week. Police have now told us human remains were also in the car. The Onondaga County Medical Examiner will help with identifying the victim and the cause of death.

Even though Carol Wood was long ago declared legally dead, the reality of his news surely strikes hard for those close to her. Finding her car and someone inside also raises a litany of questions. How did it get there? Did she drive into the river? Was it an accident? Was it homicide? The medical examiner and police will figure that out.

It is remarkable the discovery was made. Fairly soon the case will be closed. Carol Larsen wood will forever have the smile of the young woman we see on Facebook tonight.


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