The couple's car traveled across a yard before “striking a palm tree” and driving “off the seawall into the canal,” according to police
An elderly couple has died after their car plunged into a canal in Florida.
Howard Walter Cooper, 94, was approaching a cul-de-sac on Kismet Parkway West on Sunday when he went off the road rather than stopping or turning with the roadway, according to a news release from Cape Coral police.
The 2009 Silver Chevrolet Impala traveled across a grass yard before “striking a palm tree” and driving “off the seawall into the canal,” they added.
The car, which was also carrying Howard's 88-year-old wife, Marilyn Palmer Cooper, became submerged in the water, and no one was observed exiting the vehicle.
“The only solace we have is that they’re in heaven together and that they would have wanted to go together,” the couple’s niece, Debbie Van Voorhis, told NBC affiliate WBBH-TV.
The Coopers’ family noticed the couple was missing Sunday afternoon and spent hours searching for them, according to FOX affiliate WFTX-TV.
Addison Bryant, the Coopers' great niece, said she did not see the couple when she got home from work that day but realized something was wrong when they didn’t turn up.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
While searching for her great aunt and uncle, Bryant said she spotted police going toward the area of Kismet Parkway West. She and her brother eventually arrived at the scene and learned that the car belonged to the Coopers.
"It was just heartbreaking,” Bryant told WFTX-TV. Howard “was in really good shape,” while Marilyn had Alzheimer's disease. “I knew I had a bad feeling but this is unbelievable, shock was the emotion we all had," she added.
The Coopers had just moved to Cape Coral from Kansas and were married for more than 50 years, Bryant said.
This is the 18th traffic fatality in Cape Coral this year, according to police. Speed was not a factor in the crash, nor were drugs and alcohol.
Anyone with additional information about the crash is asked to contact the Cape Coral Police Department at 239-574-3223 or submit a tip to CCPDtips@capecoral.gov. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.