FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. - More human remains found late Monday afternoon are the remainder of those that belong to a skull and jawbone discovered the day before. Deputies in Clay County, however, say there is no reason to suspect foul play at this point.
The skull found near a Fleming Island shopping center Sunday appears to be that of an adult and has a watermark on it, suggesting it may have been in some water in the field where it was found, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office. The rest of the skeleton had clothes on it, deputies said.
Dozens of Clay County detectives returned Monday to the field beside the Kohl's department store on East-West Parkway off County Road 220 after children walking through the area spotted the skull and jawbone Sunday.
Detectives who were doing grid searches of the 10-acre field on Monday told Channel 4 there was dental work on the teeth, and the remains will likely be identified through dental records. Detectives and cadaver dogs will likely continue to search the field through Tuesday.
Investigators said there were no obvious signs of trauma to the remains. They said identifying them could take a while because they don't know who they're looking for, and they don't know how long they've been there.
Dozens of evidence markers were scattered throughout this search site. Investigators said they are marking every single thing that is not naturally grown, meaning any kind of litter or human debris. They're marking them with flags because they could possibly be connected to the case.
Detectives said the area is not one known for homeless to frequent.
Some Fleming Island residents went to the scene Sunday to try and learn more information. Many said they are feeling uneasy in a usually quiet and safe neighborhood.
"If it's just a skull. I'm hoping it's possibly old and maybe the kids back there who found it dug it up," Fleming Island resident Linda Papagna said. "I'm hoping that there's no foul play or anything happened to anybody. This is Fleming Island and it's very quiet here. I hope it stays that way."
Investigators at the scene could not determine the sex, age, race or cause of death.
"If you can do it through dental, you've got to know who you're comparing them to," said Sgt. Marty Cotchaleovitch. "That's the biggest obstacle. We've got detectives right now that are actually working with other agencies right now, compiling missing persons reports, cross-referencing those for dental records just so we can see if we have anything that will match up that we can actually compare to."
The wooded area dried up recently due to a lack of rain. There are drainage pipes there, and detectives say the low-lying area may fill up when it rains.
"Hopefully they can find out very quickly if it's foul play and if it's recent. If it is, everyone's going to have to be careful again. Reminds me of Somer Thompson," Papagna said. "Got to keep the kids safe. I'm a runner. I run around here and I'll definitely be looking over my shoulder."
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