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Human remains found in Ocala National Forest identified

Death investigation underway after hunter digs up remains

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Days after a hunter dug up human remains near a road in the Ocala National Forest, the Marion County Sheriff's Office identified the remains as an Ocala man.

Detectives on Wednesday released that the remains were those of Daniel Allen Jones, 48, of Ocala (pictured).

Deputies and a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer responded Sunday to the area of Forest Road 5 after the remains were discovered.

According to an incident report, a man said he had been hunting deer in the area with his friends and was walking back to a tree stand about 4 p.m. Oct. 15 when he spotted what he thought were deer scratchings in the ground about 200 yards into a trail off Forest Road 5.

The man said when he returned Sunday, he asked a friend to bring him a shovel because he saw some leaves covering the area and thought it looked suspicious, the incident report shows. The man said he cleared the brush, started digging and found something that "smelled really bad like death," the incident report stated. The man then asked his friend to contact the FWC officer.

The area was closed off with crime scene tape.

Detectives said Wednesday that the case was classified as a death investigation. 

The Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information to call 352-732-9111. To remain anonymous, submit tips to Crime Stoppers by calling 352-368-STOP (7867) or by visiting ocalacrimestoppers.com.

About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4Jax in March 2016.