(CNN) — For nearly 11 years, the family of Nelta Jacques has awaited word on her fate, as well as that of her two daughters, ages 5 and 7.
The three disappeared on a rain-soaked night in June 1999 as they were traveling from Jacques’ father’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to their home in Tampa, a drive of about 260 miles.
But a grisly discovery Wednesday in a Florida canal — a submerged minivan with human remains inside — might provide some long-sought answers.
“It’s hard. It’s just some closure right now,” Valbrun Chevalier, Jacques’ brother, said Thursday.
The algae-covered minivan was found Wednesday morning during a Broward County Sheriff’s Office training exercise at the canal, located in a wildlife management area along I-75, authorities said in a news release.
The sheriff’s office has not released further details or said whether there are remains of more than one person. But Chevalier, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, said Thursday that police had notified his family that the minivan — an older-model Dodge Caravan — was registered to Jacques.
He said he did not know whether the remains of all three had been found, but relatives were providing authorities with DNA samples Thursday.
Jacques was 27 when she was last seen June 2, 1999. She had worked at a Wal-Mart and at toll plazas in Florida, along with other odd jobs, Chevalier said.