Drought brings closure to missing woman's family - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Drought brings closure to missing woman's family

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Receding water from the drought may have helped solve a three-year-old missing person's case.

Authorities say the body of 54-year-old Brenda Kay Oliver was found in her submerged car in a private pond off of FM 1861 in Van Zandt County.

Brenda's sister says that, for their family, the drought has turned into a blessing, answering a question that's weighed heavily on them for three and a half years.

For nearly three and a half years, Donna McWilliams, drove past the pond where Brenda's body was found. It never crossed her mind, her sister's body and car were in the water.

For the first time in a long time, she says she has found peace.

"The night times were the hardest. At night you would just wonder if it was cold, you know, where she was. But since they didn't find her or find her car, we just didn't know how she could be deceased and they not find her or her car so we kept hoping that maybe she was alive somewhere," expressed Donna.

But in the back of her mind, she says they felt Brenda had taken her life.
She says Brenda was very depressed in the months leading up to her  disappearance.

Donna says, "We feel it's a suicide. Her son committed suicide and he committed suicide by drowning."

Around 5 Saturday evening, Aaron Newbourne says he spotted what looked like a windshield in the middle of his pond.

He says for weeks, the water continued to recede.

Filling the pond with water was costly, so a few weeks ago he stopped, and nature ran its course.

"With the drought being this way it just keeps getting lower and lower until we finally figured out what it was because the first couple of weeks we just thought it was a barrel or some kind of platform," says Newbourne.

Donna says, "I think it's a blessing. My mom really needed closure. she said I just cannot go on not knowing what happened to her."

The severe Texas drought answering a family's prayer--helping them to move on. 

Authorities say they do not suspect foul play in Brenda Oliver's death.

However, an autopsy has been ordered.

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