Vanessa Smallwood, 46, was last seen on Jan. 27, 2014, at a dry cleaner in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
This week, her body was found in a vehicle submerged in the Salem River in southern New Jersey.
Diving contractors who were working to remove debris from the Salem River spotted a car at the bottom of the river on Thursday morning. When they realized it contained human remains, they notified authorities, Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan said, The Associated Press reported.
The vehicle was found in a “badly mangled” condition, Lenahan said.