JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Remains that were recovered from a Georgia landfill have been identified as those of a missing Fleming Island woman, and a contractor she once hired has been charged with her murder, investigators revealed Saturday.
“The search was conducted over a 10 day period where approximately 7,300 tons of waste was processed. Human remains were discovered on the ninth day of the search,” said Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels. “As a result, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations assisted in the identification of the remains where it was determined to be that of Susan Mauldin.”
Daniels said an arrest warrant was then signed for Corey Binderim on charges of murder and tampering with evidence. He’s scheduled for arraignment next week.
Binderim, who was originally called a person of interest in the case, has been in the Duval County jail on a forgery charge that’s unrelated to the woman’s disappearance. He was a contractor who was hired by Mauldin.
Daniels would not say what ultimately led to Binderim’s arrest, however, he did say physical evidence was found at the woman’s home.
According to Rachel Rojas, the FBI Jacksonville Special Agent in charge, 213 personnel members were called throughout the week to assist. Each day, there were 70 to 90 personnel members on site, which included 40 people searching.
On the ninth day, investigators found what appeared to be a portion of a skull. The following day, more remains were found, and dental records confirmed the remains belonged to Mauldin.
“We know how difficult this news is to Ms. Mauldin’s friends and neighbors. We are also relieved and thankful that we have some answers that we can provide to them today," Rojas said.
‘A needle in a haystack’
Daniels on Saturday said as part of the investigation, the Rosemary Hill Waste Management transfer facility in Clay County was a place of interest for detectives. He said investigators learned Rosemary Hill is a transport facility that moves waste to the Chesser Island Landfill, leading to the relentless search in Georgia.
Investigators scoured through an area that was roughly the size of a baseball diamond.
The Chesser Island Road Landfill is the same landfill the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office searched for the body of Joleen Cummings in 2018 without success. It’s also the landfill where detectives found the body of 7-year-old Somer Thompson in 2009.
Rojas said it’s the first successful recovery of human remains processed in a landfill by the Jacksonville FBI since Somer’s body was found.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said detectives were fortunate to find the body.
“It’s very, very difficult to find human remains in a landfill with debris. All you have is tons and tons of garbage and trash and all sorts of things,” Jefferson said. “Can you imagine a person on a daily basis going to have to rake through all of this garbage and be very careful so as not to contaminate the evidence?”
State Attorney Melissa Nelson said that it has been an exhaustive investigation and that no stone was left unturned. Nelson said investigators do not plan to make any additional arrests.
“This is like searching for a needle in a haystack,” Nelson said. “They did this for one reason: A relentless search for truth.”