City Police Chief ACP Jauteh Dikun said police arrived at the scene after being alerted of the discovery at about 12pm on Thursday.
He said prior to the discovery, preliminary investigation showed the driver and a 30-year-old passenger were heading towards Tanjung Aru from the city centre when they lost control of the vehicle which skidded and crashed against the fence of the residential area during heavy rain at about 2am.
A rescue team who arrived moments later found the unconscious passenger who was sitting on the front passenger seat but they could not trace the driver's whereabouts.
Jauteh said the passenger claimed that he did not know where the driver was because he fainted soon after the incident.
The body was later identified by family members as 33-year-old Nelson Thien Hua Keong from Papar.
He leaves behind a 34-year-old wife, a four-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son.
According to his wife, it was not unusual for her husband not to return home for two days due to his job requirement.
"He works as an advertisement poster installer in Taman Austral and he would usually go home to his mother's house in Damai after work," she claimed, adding that she only lodged a police report after he failed to return home on the third day.
It was said that he attempted to seek help and managed to walk 50 metres away from the damaged vehicle before falling into the drain where his remains were discovered.