A human skull and other bones were recovered from the scene and submitted to the Medical Examiner’s Office who determined that the death was a homicide.

Sheriff: 2002 Florida Cold Case, Unidentified Remains Found On Road

By: CCSO

On January 6, 2002, decomposed remains were located in the bushes on the side of Zemel Road in Charlotte County. 

Two individuals driving on Zemel Road coming from a local shooting range saw an animal run across the road and stopped to try and locate and identify the type of animal. 

That is when they noticed bones and contacted the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the area and began the investigation.

Deputies say that a human skull and other bones were recovered from the scene and submitted to the Medical Examiner’s Office who determined that the death was a homicide.

On July 29, 2019, Heather Walsh-Haney, a Forensic Anthropologist at Florida Gulf Coast University issued a report, requested by the CCSO Cold Case team, which indicated the victim was a male, 5’3″ – 5’7″, 30-59 years of age, and the ancestry could be African/Black but European or White and Latin American/Hispanic could not be ruled out.

The estimated time of death could be several weeks to several months.

In 2021, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Imaging team, at the request of the CCSO Cold Case team, was requested to prepare an image of how the victim may have looked before he was killed.  Forensic Imaging Specialist Autumn Krick generated an artist rendition which is attached. 

Included with the artist rendition of the victim is a photograph of a Bulova watch with a clear stone at the 12:00 o’clock position that was found on the arm of the remains when located in 2002.

Throughout the years since this individual was located, no information has been received to identify him. 

There have been reports that this person was involved in an altercation with an individual or individuals from the local area who beat him to death, dumped his body, took bloody clothes and a weapon, and buried them in a field near Grapefruit Lane in Punta Gorda.

The CCSO Cold Case team would like to talk to anyone who may have information regarding the identification of this homicide victim or any additional information about who may have killed him. Please call 1-941-639-2101.

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