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Body of woman reported missing in 1990 discovered in pond

By Staff | Jul 23, 2015

The body of a woman reported missing 25 years ago was discovered earlier this week in a submerged vehicle near the Lee County Civic Center as the Lee County Sheriff’s Office dive team searched nearby for another missing woman.

The vehicle was discovered in a pond by friends and family members who were searching nearby lakes and ponds for their loved one, Chelsey Green, 25.

Upon discovery of the vehicle, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team responded and located a red sports car in approximately 20 feet of water that appeared to have been submerged for years.

Inside the vehicle were skeletal remains.

Those remains have been positively identified as those of Rita Sue Zul, 36. Zul was reported missing to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 15, 1990.

According to the original Missing Person Report, Zul was employed at the Marina 31 Lounge in East Fort Myers as a waitress.

Zul left the restaurant after work on Jan. 14, 1990 driving her boyfriend’s red Datsun, but never made it home.

On Tuesday, hundreds of friends, family and well-wishers gathered at the former site of Marina 31, near where Green’s car had gone into the Caloosahatchee River early Friday morning.

A candlelight vigil in memory of Green followed, less than 24 hours after her body and car were pulled from the river.

According to a photo and text montage placed on social media and shared on Facebook, Green had left a friend’s house just a few blocks from her own early July 17.

That was the last time anyone saw her, and friends and family began to search for her.

Monday, the Sheriff’s Office reported it had found a car in the river and confirmed later that the remains discovered inside were identified as Green.

Her family had feared the outcome of their search would not be a happy one.

Her brother reported he had received a “cryptic text (that) has her family fearing the worst,” the social media poster stated.

Her brother then received a GPS notification at 3:30 a.m.

“The GPS location put Green right near the State Road 31 bridge,” the poster stated.