MANATEE -- Detectives think a 26-year-old man found dead in a pond accidently drowned about 7 p.m. Monday after trying to retrieve belongings from a car he had driven into the water at the Golf Lakes Estates Mobile Home Park at 5000 Fifth St. E., Bradenton.
Residents reported finding a laptop on the ground near the pond, according to the news release. Deputies spotted tire tracks leading into the water and a duffle bag resting on something in the water.
The sheriff's office dive team found a submerged vehicle in the water. The body of Michael McDonald of Davenport was found near the vehicle.
"We don't know why or what caused him to drive into the pond," sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow said. "We didn't find any witnesses."
McDonald spoke to his mother on his cell phone before drowning. He told her he had accidently driven the car into the pond, Bristow said.
His mother called for a tow truck to pull the vehicle out of the pond, but detectives learned it left after arriving and not seeing anyone around.
Detectives believe the victim drowned trying to grab things out of the submerged vehicle. How he ended up in the pond in the first place is unclear without witnesses.
"There is a grassy area in the front of the pond that he would have had to driven over," Bristow added.
Detectives haven't been able to determine whether McDonald had any family or friends in the area.