Family at scene where missing woman’s vehicle recovered from lake in Henderson County

The body found inside the car has been sent for an autopsy

Family at scene where missing woman’s vehicle recovered from lake in Henderson County
Brenda Montanez (Source: Henderson County Sheriff's Office)

HENDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A woman’s body has been found inside a vehicle submerged in a lake in Log Cabin, officials said Friday afternoon.

The vehicle was recovered about 4:30 p.m. Friday near the main boat ramp at the Cedar Creek Reservoir in Log Cabin, according to Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse.

The vehicle belonged to Brenda Montanez, who was previously reported missing, Hillhouse said. Officials have been searching for Montanez’s maroon 2011 Mazda for the past several weeks.

Twenty-five-year-old Montanez was last seen in the early morning hours of Jan. 27, according to Log Cabin Police Department.

The sheriff said officials have not identified the woman found in the vehicle and her body has been sent to American Forensics for an autopsy.

A search team from Illinois came to assist with the search, Hillhouse said. Using sonar, they were able to locate an object in the lake, which was later determined to be Montanez’s vehicle.

Montanez’s family was notified about the vehicle recovery. Family members arrived, appearing emotional. They remained on scene until after dark speaking with law enforcement officers.

The Log Cabin Police Department is the lead agency in the investigation, Hillhouse said. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are assisting with the investigation.

Log Cabin Police Chief Todd Tucker said that they are hoping to have a positive ID on the woman’s body by midday Monday.

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