The body of a missing school teacher who lived off Pacetti Road and worked in Putnam County was discovered today thanks to what St. Johns County Sheriff David B. Shoar calls “good old fashioned police work.”
When she didn’t show up for work on the first day of school, Jan Dunn Keller, who teaches third grade at Kelley Smith Elementary School in Putnam County, was reported “missing”.
Sometime after 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night, Timothy Dale Rose says he last saw his live-in girlfriend. Rose says he and Keller were at the Oasis Restaurant at St. Augustine Beach and Keller walked outside for a cigarette — but she never returned.
When St. Johns County deputies went to the couple’s residence on Enon Court yesterday, they found Rose and recorded his statement. “A written report, let alone a written statement, is way beyond what most officers would do in a simple attempt to contact situation,” Sheriff Shoar said. “I don’t know if I would have done that, but, we are all glad that the deputies did.”
Shoar says Rose told deputies that he found the victim’s keys on a table at the Oasis. After Keller didn’t return, Rose said that he drove her car to their residence.
Detectives returned to the residence again this morning about 8:00 a.m. — half on intuition that something didn’t sound right in Rose’s story, but also because they had received information about the couple that indicated that Keller could be in danger.
When the detectives arrived, they found Rose’s truck backed up to the garage door. A shovel “with fresh dirt” was observed in the vehicle. The victim’s car was also parked at the residence.
When deputies knocked at the door repeatedly, they say there was no answer or sound from inside. Not knowing the condition of either of the occupants, a decision was made to forcibly enter the home.
Deputies found Rose sitting beneath the window sill in the front of the house. He was unconscious and a shotgun was discovered nearby. He was taken to Flagler Hospital where he remains under observation. Shoar said today that evidence at the scene indicates Rose may have become despondent and suicidal.
Further investigation revealed a woman’s body, believed to be Jan Keller; however, positive identification is being withheld pending the autopsy examination. The body was wrapped in a tarp on the garage floor.
The Sheriff surmised Rose may have used the shovel to dig a grave at some unknown location and he was planning to load the body into his truck for burial, however, Shoar made it clear that no charges have been filed against Rose at this time and the investigation and autopsy examination are continuing.
Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News staff photographer