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Couple found dead in Martin County pond had been traveling back from wedding, sheriff says

Bodies of Vincent Vibert Thomas, 64, and Ongela Anetra Smith, 47, found Monday
Bodies found in Martin County pond, July 25, 2022
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 21:01:10-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Officials in Martin County have released the names of the two people who were found Monday floating in a pond near Indiantown.

The sheriff's office said the man and woman have been identified as Vincent Vibert Thomas, 64, and 47-year-old Ongela Anetra Smith, both of Palm Beach County.

The sheriff's office said that Thomas lived in Mangonia Park and Smith lived in an unincorporated area of the county but did not elaborate.

Smith's car was pulled from the pond — located at the intersection of Southwest Warfield Boulevard and Southwest Indiantown Avenue — a few hours after the bodies were found in the waterway.

Crews retrieve a car from a pond near Indiantown, Florida, after two bodies were pulled from the waterway on July 25, 2022.
Crews retrieve a car from a pond near Indiantown, Florida, after two bodies were pulled from the waterway on July 25, 2022.

Sheriff William Snyder said during an afternoon news conference that the couple was returning home from a wedding in Canal Point on Saturday night when the crash occurred.

Calling it a "tragic accident," Snyder said the couple left the wedding at about midnight.

"We know that our female drowning victim made a phone call to a loved one sometime at around 10:30 p.m. and related that they were going to leave soon, and for some reason, she mentioned that her boyfriend was going to be driving," Snyder said.

WATCH: Sheriff William Snyder shares new details case

Martin County sheriff: Couple who died was traveling home from wedding when they crashed into pond

The sheriff said that was the last time that anyone heard or saw them alive.

A driver who was passing by the waterway Monday spotted one of the bodies floating in the pond, prompting a call to law enforcement.

Deputies arrived at the scene and later discovered the second body floating in the water.

Snyder said there was no indication that the vehicle slowed down before plunging into the water, also noting that family members said that Smith did not know how to swim.

Crews retrieve a car from a pond near Indiantown, Florida, after two bodies were pulled from the waterway on July 25, 2022.
Crews retrieve a car from a pond near Indiantown, Florida, after two bodies were pulled from the waterway on July 25, 2022.

"They could have expired inside the car when it filled up with water and then floated out or they could have actually gotten out of the car through the open windows and then drowned," Snyder said.

Law enforcement had said earlier this week that they did not suspect foul play in the case.

Officials are still waiting for the autopsy and toxicology results of the victims.

The sheriff did not speculate if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the wreck.