In an update provided to local Historic City News reporters by Officer Cecilia Aiple this evening, we learned that an additional investigative team, led by Dr. Heather Walsh-Haney, spent time yesterday and today combing the gruesome discovery site of a human skull found in the woods on December 6, 2017.
Aiple, Public Information Officer for the St Augustine Police Department, escorted Associate Professor Walsh-Haney of Florida Gulf Coast University, along with her team of graduate students, to an area behind the Winn Dixie Marketplace at 3551 North Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
The skull was originally spotted by a survey crew working in the area. The scene was secured, criminologists responded to collect additional evidence, and detectives began the initial investigation. When an expanded ground search, aided by a trained cadaver dog, produced no further skeletal remains, the scene was closed, and the skull was delivered to a Forensic Anthropologist for analysis.
A more extensive search began yesterday and concluded at approximately 12:00 p.m. today. The new search uncovered additional human remains in the area where the skull was located. The evidence was collected by the St. Johns County Medical Examiner.
Dr. Walsh-Haney and her students will be transporting the remains to the Florida Gulf Coast University for further examination. They specialize in the study of human identity and criminal trauma. It is hoped that, aided with the new evidence, the team will be able to uncover the identity of the presently unknown skull, determine what may have occurred, and establish a timeline and manner of death.
This incident remains an active investigation,” Aiple told Historic City News. “All possibilities are still being considered.” The detective in charge of this case is St Augustine Police investigator Michal Ochkie who can be reached at (904) 209-3485. If you have any information about the identity or circumstances surrounding the death of this yet unknown person, you can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-8477.