FDLE probing report of body found

HENDRY COUNTY — The body of a deceased white male Caucasian reportedly was found in a remote wildlife area, drawing a response from state and local law enforcement agencies recently.

Hendry County artist’s body rendering of unidentified man while alive. Courtesy of NamUs.

An emailed tip to this newspaper provided a link to the NamUs website, that of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, where the discovery of the unrecognizable human remains, with all parts recovered, was reported. The man was reported to be an adult of unknown age between 18 and 60, whose height and weight could not be estimated, with straight brown hair about an inch long on top and shorter on the sides, a brown and gray goatee but no mustache, and blue eyes.

According to a heavily redacted report provided by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Sheriff’s Deputy Darrin McNeil was dispatched at 9:38 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, to the Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area located on County Road 833 in reference to a “suspicious incident.”

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer then arrived at the scene, and a Hendry County detective, Sgt. Julio Perez, was contacted and instructed Deputy McNeil to turn the case and scene over to the FWC. All other details had been removed from the Hendry County sheriff’s report.

HCSO spokeswoman Capt. Susan Harrelle said Wednesday, Oct. 17, that the case has been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for further investigation. FDLE Public Information Officer Jessica Cary in Tallahassee confirmed that an active investigation is under way but would not confirm that a body had been discovered, nor provide any other information.

The case file at the NamUs website identifies FDLE Special Agent Nathan Coogan in Highlands County as being in charge of the investigation. He can be reached at 863-386-6085. Carrie Sutherland is the contact at NamUs and can be emailed at carrie.sutherland@unthsc.edu.


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