Woman’s body found in submerged vehicle at end of Quinlan Park Rd.


After a woman’s body was discovered around 8 a.m., Police blocked off the scene Saturday, Feb. 2 at the end of Quinlan Park Road at Lake Austin at the boat ramp at Mary Quinlan Park. Photo by Pamela Campbell

Update 2:08 p.m. Feb. 4

Austin Police Department continues to investigate this case. APD cannot rule out suicide at this point or share more details of how or why this vehicle drove into Lake Austin.

“All of that is still under investigation since it just happened a few days ago. Right now, all we can say is that no foul play is suspected and that it is being investigated as an accidental death,” said Lisa Cortinas, APD public information officer.

Editor’s note: We’ve modified this story and headline since it was posted on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 3 because the details could be understood in several different ways. It is unclear, at this point, if the woman’s body was wrapped with a blanket like a shawl or in some other configuration when her body was discovered.  

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

A woman’s body was discovered in a submerged vehicle in Lake Austin at the end of Quinlan Park Road just outside of Steiner Ranch on Saturday morning.

“We’re in the beginning stages of the investigation,” said Demitri Hobbs, Austin Police Department senior officer. Hobbs spoke with the media a few hours after the body was discovered on Feb. 2 and said at that time, “It is way to early in the investigation to suspect foul play.”

Another source, who wants to remain anonymous, shared that the woman’s body was wrapped in a white blanket or covering of some sort.

Rescue swimmers from Lake Travis Fire Rescue pulled the woman’s body from the vehicle.

The body of a woman who was likely in her 30s, according to some reports, was found inside the driver’s seat, Hobbs said, but he did not comment whether the seat belt was on or not. He said he had not been told that information. 

A man was trying to put in his boat into Lake Austin early on Feb. 2 but when he backed up, his boat trailer hit the submerged vehicle and he called 9-1-1 at 7:48 a.m., Hobbs said.

It is unclear if the top of the vehicle could be seen out of the water since it was around sunrise at that time the man backed into the vehicle.

Police blocked off the scene on Saturday for several hours.

APD, Travis County Sheriff’s Department and lake patrols came out to assess the situation first. Lake Travis Fire Rescue aided in the recovery of the body. The Travis County Medical Examiner’s office arrived at the scene later once the body was discovered. Austin-Travis County EMS was also on scene.

The body was sent to the medical examiner for an autopsy.

One eye witness said a tow truck went by around 1 p.m. with a small white car, possibly a Mazda.

The location at 1705 South Quinlan Park Rd. ends at Mary Quinlan Park at the boat ramp. This is not first time a vehicle has been found submerged in water at this location, confirmed Hobbs, “the road goes straight into the water.”