PALM HARBOR — The Pinellas County Medical Examiner's Office has identified human remains found in a vehicle that was under water in a local retention pond.

On April 14, deputies with the Underwater Search and Recovery Team recovered a Mitsubishi SUV that was registered to Robert Helphrey, who was reported missing in 2006. Detectives had been alerted to the vehicle in the pond east of Old Oak Circle and Belcher Road by the Sunshine State Sonar Search Team.

Helphrey, who was 51, was reported missing in 2006 after leaving Peggy O’Neils Bar in Palm Harbor. On May 22, 2006, around 2:05 a.m., Helphrey made a telephone call asking a friend to meet at Helphrey's apartment in Palm Harbor. After leaving Peggy O'Neals, Helphrey never arrived home.

Several searches of ponds and heavily wooded areas were searched for Helphrey and his vehicle, but they were never located.

On April 21, the Sheriff’s Office announced that the medical examiner had confirmed the body is Helphrey’s. The medical examiner's office is still investigating to attempt to determine a cause and manner of death.