A body has been found inside the submerged vehicle which belonged to missing mother Kim Richmond.
Police found the 2014 silver Ford Ranger ute at the bottom of Lake Arapuni in Waikato on Wednesday, but was only dredged up on Thursday.
Police had earlier been considering foul play in the investigation and were unable to comment on whether that had been ruled out with Thursday's discovery.
The car was under 6m of water which hadn't been searched previously, Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson said, and visibility was poor.
There were no noticeable signs of damage to the car aside from the water damage.
"Our enquiries will help us establish how the vehicle got there," Snr Sgt Patterson said.
Police divers had been scouring the area since Tuesday and discovered the ute on Wednesday.
Ms Richmond is believed to have been driving the ute before her disappearance on July 31 last year.
While police confirmed the find, they say a formal identification is yet to take place. A post-mortem will be held on Friday.
In the meantime, the police investigation into her disappearance is continuing.
Ms Richmond's family has been spoken to and are being supported by police.