Okeechobee cold case is still being investigated

OKEECHOBEE — In April 2019, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) received information regarding the possible location of the body of Robin Flynn. Ms. Flynn was reported missing in December 1998. Once the location was identified, OCSO received permission from the current landowner to examine the property. An abandoned septic tank was found on the property and subsequently pumped out but no human remains were found.

Robin Flynn

In May 2019, cadaver dogs from the Peace River K-9 Rescue Association were utilized at the location and the dogs identified an area of interest. Due to the area being heavily overgrown, a team of OCSO members cleared the area on the property by hand, followed by the use of a front end loader to further clear the area. Once the area was cleared, a team from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit came to the location and utilized their Ground Penetrating Radar GPR) on the area. The Peace River Rescue cadaver dogs were then brought back and again showed an area of interest.

In September, teams from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Crime Lab in Fort Myers, the Anthropology Department at Florida Gulf Coast University and OCSO conducted a two-day excavation of the area. Unfortunately, no human remains were located.

In October, a team from OCSO conducted further examination at the location with an excavator, however no human remains were located.

Sheriff Noel E. Stephen stated, “We’d like to thank all of those involved including Peace River K-9 Rescue Association, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, FDLE Crime Lab, the Anthropology Department at Florida Gulf Coast University, Austin Septic, Triple E Equipment and Everglades Farm Equipment.

Although Ms. Flynn has been missing for more than 21 years, the sheriff’s office continues to follow up on any leads that may lead to her whereabouts and to give this victim and her family the answers they need and justice they deserve.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Ms. Flynn was 32 years old when she was last seen by witnesses on Dec. 19, 1998. She stood 5 feet, 4 inches tall, weighed 120 pounds and had brown hair and green eyes. Detective Faulkner said she was single and her address at the time was 289 N.W. 36th St.

The original incident report by OCSO Deputy Paul Ferrell, described Ms. Flynn as “an endangered adult.”

She also had a number of tattoos, said the detective, that included: the letters R.A. and a rose on her upper left arm; the word “Rose” on the inside of her left arm; and, a unicorn head on the left side of her back with the names William, Christopher, Sara and Elizabeth under it.

Statements made by a family member in the Dec. 29, 1998, edition of the Okeechobee News said she had some medical problems that could cause her to be confused, and that she was scheduled to undergo surgery.

Since that day in December 1998, the woman’s case has been handled by a number of local detectives whose investigations gleaned varying pieces of unsubstantiated information.

Eric Kopp contributed the background information portion of this story.

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