Cold Case Divers Find Missing Woman's Car In Texas River After 4 Years

By Dani Medina

January 20, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Stephanie Torres went missing in December 2017. This week, her car was found in a Texas river.

The Waco Police Department said Wednesday three vehicles were found in the Brazos River — one of those vehicles was confirmed to match the vehicle identification number of the missing 43-year-old's car.

A body was also recovered from the car, but due to the "current state of the body," officials can't positively identify if the body found is Torres' yet. An autopsy has been ordered and Torres' family has been notified, police said.

As for the other two vehicles found in the Brazos River, they'll be recovered at a later date by the Waco Fire Dive Team, police said.

***UPDATE: Body Found 1/19/22 9:21 p.m.*** Waco Police Department investigators have positively confirmed the VIN number of the recovered vehicle as missing 43-year-old Stephanie Torres’ vehicle. A body was also recovered from the car and due to the current state of the body, investigators are not able to positively identify if the body found is Torres’. Judge Lee was called to the scene and Torres’ family has been notified. Waco PD investigators hope to know more after an autopsy is complete. This investigation is ongoing. ***RECOVERED VEHICLE*** The Waco Police Department with the help from the Waco Fire Dive Team recovered a vehicle after Adventures with Purpose began a separate search for a Waco PD missing persons case from December of 2017. It is currently not known if the vehicle found is in connection to the missing persons case. Once the vehicle was recovered, investigators found a small bone fragment. The bone fragment and the vehicle are now being processed for evidence. Shortly after 12 p.m. on January 19, 2022, Waco officers were notified that a team of divers from Adventures with Purpose found 3 vehicles located in the Brazos River. One of those vehicles resembled the vehicle of Stephanie Torres who went missing in December of 2017. In the initial search for Ms. Torres, it was reported to officers that she may have been intoxicated and suicidal when she disappeared. A search began for Ms. Torres, however every lead came up empty. The case was later suspended in February 2019, pending no additional evidence. Due to daylight, the Waco Fire Dive team was only able to recover one vehicle and the other two will be recovered at a later date. This investigation continues and we will provide updates as more becomes available. Cierra Shipley, PIO

Posted by Waco Police Department on Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Torres went missing on December 21, 2017. In the initial search for her, it was reported to police she may have been "intoxicated and suicidal" when she disappeared. Every lead came up empty in the initial search and her case was suspended in February 2019.

Torres' car was found Adventures With Purpose, a volunteer-based cold case diving team that's "bringing resolution and answers to families looking for their lost loved ones." The diving team notified police and the Waco Police Department and Waco Fire Dive Team worked together to recover the vehicle.

Police said the investigation is still ongoing.

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