Human remains found in wooded area, Columbia County deputies say

File photo of Columbia County Sheriff's Office SUV (Courtesy of Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

Human remains were found Monday afternoon in Columbia County near the Baker County line, authorities said.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a wooded area along Southeast County Line Road after someone who had been walking in the area called around 4:15 p.m. to report finding human remains. When deputies arrived, they said, they confirmed the discovery of “suspected human skeletal remains.”

Detectives and the Sheriff’s Office’s forensics team were called to the scene, and a preliminary investigation was conducted, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office said that the scene was held overnight and that the investigation resumed Tuesday. Detectives said that they conducted a grid search of the area, during which they utilized the agency’s drone, and that skeletal remains were found during the search.

The scene will remain secured throughout Tuesday evening, as cadaver K-9s from Ocala will be utilized to assist in the search Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Once the scene has been completely processed, detectives said, they will work with other experts to try to identify the remains and determine a cause of death.

“These types of cases are uncommon in our area. There are a lot of questions we don’t have the answers to yet, but I am confident in our team’s ability to exhaust every lead and bring closure to this case,” Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said in a statement Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call detectives at 386-758-1095 or contact Crime Stoppers of Columbia County by dialing 386-754-7099 or reporting online at