River body find in Tas missing person case

Human remains have been discovered in a submerged car belonging to a Tasmanian man who went missing more than six years ago after a trip to get breakfast and a newspaper.

Dale Nicholson, 61, was last seen leaving his home at New Norfolk, about 35km northwest of Hobart, on the morning of December 10, 2016.

He left in his 1993 blue Ford Fairmont sedan and vanished without a trace.

A coroner's report, published last year, ruled Mr Nicholson had died, but the cause of his death was unable to be determined.

Divers associated with Downunder Dan Diving, a group specialising in searching for missing people, said they discovered Mr Nicholson's car and a body on Sunday in the River Derwent at New Norfolk.

Tasmania Police confirmed human remains were located in New Norfolk on Sunday evening in a vehicle registered to Mr Nicholson.

"Formal identification is yet to occur. A report will be prepared for the coroner," Tasmania Police said in a statement.

Mr Nicholson was reported missing by his family on December 11, 2016, sparking an extensive search in the surrounding Derwent Valley and further afield.

Coroner Simon Cooper ruled Mr Nicholson may have taken his own life, been the victim of homicide, died of natural causes, or as the result of misadventure.

Mr Cooper said Mr Nicholson had been treated for depression from about 2010 and there was evidence he had tried to take his own life in 2012.

He also noted Mr Nicholson was close with his late mother and three sisters, who were all New Norfolk locals.

In a social media video, the divers involved said fishing rods were found in the car, which had been protected from underwater debris by a large tree.

They said the car was found by sonar in a section of the river near a swimming pool car park.

Mr Nicholson was on his usual morning trip when he went missing and had a "good circle" of friends who found his disappearance out of character, according to the national missing persons register.

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