Missing Lakeland Woman Found Dead

Polk County Sheriff’s Office is continuing their investigation of a missing Lakeland woman who has been found dead, approximately 50 yards behind her home, in a wooded area.

Police believe 33-year-old Diana Mercado’s death is a homicide; her body was found wrapped up and on the ground.

Mercado was last seen Saturday morning by her boyfriend as she left for work from her home in the 10900 block of Pathfinder Trail in Lakeland.

Officials say Mercado was employed at a Dunkin Donuts in north Lakeland but didn’t show up for work Saturday.

The exact cause of death has not been determined at this time.