Kiara Moore died after being recovered from a silver Mini in the River Teifi in Cardigan on Monday afternoon.
Initially the two-year-old’s family feared the car, a silver Mini, had been stolen with her inside and posted pleas on Facebook appealing to help locate it.
But a search revealed the car was in the river a short distance away from where it had last been seen.
Police, who were alerted to the missing vehicle at 3:30pm, said it was last seen outside the old Scout Hall, where Kiara’s father Jet Moore runs an outdoor adventure company.
Officers indicated on Twitter that the vehicle had been found, in an update posted at 5:11pm. Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed after “extensive inquiries” it was not looking for anyone else in connection with the “tragic incident”.
Kiara, who would have celebrated her third birthday next Tuesday, was airlifted to University Hospital Wales where she was later pronounced dead.
Paying tribute to her, Mr Moore wrote on Facebook: “She was an incredible happy young girl who lived I hope a great adventurous fun life.”