The Florida Highway Patrol said the incident happened Friday, Sept. 30, when three men from Jacksonville were driving on flooded Sweetwater Road in the area of the Charlie Creek Bridge.
When their SUV was swept into the floodwater current and became submerged, the three men attempted to get out of the vehicle and swim to safety.
Authorities said rescuers found one person dead at the scene, while a second occupant made it to the shore line and was medically treated by paramedics.
However, troopers said an "exhaustive on-scene search" was unable to locate the third occupant.
On Monday, Oct. 3, investigators discovered a body in the same area where the SUV was located. But FHP said they are still working to confirm if the deceased person is the missing occupant from the SUV.
Troopers are also still working to determine who was driving the SUV when it was swept away by the floodwaters.
Hardee County is situated just east of Manatee County and northeast of Sarasota County. Hurricane Ian's path cut right through the heart of Hardee, causing record flooding in the area.