Nothing found in search for missing woman's remains

Rebecca Ware disappeared in October 2010; boyfriend charged with murder

PALATKA, Fla. - The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office late Friday morning ended a search of a heavily wooded area in Palatka for the remains of a woman who's been missing since October 2010.

Investigators started their search with a cadaver dog about 8 a.m. at the end of Beech Street for the remains of Rebecca Ware. They ended just before noon after saying nothing was found.

"We searched (the area) in the past a little over a year ago," Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Catherine Payne said. "We came back, obviously, because we received relevant information that Rebecca Ware's remains may be in the area."

That tip, however, didn't lead to any discoveries.

"We feel confident that after the second search that this area doesn't hold any kind of evidence in this case," said Sheriff's Office Detective Eugene Tolbert.

In August, a grand jury indicted Ware's boyfriend, Timothy Johnson, on a charge of second-degree murder, though her body hasn't been found.

Johnson (pictured right), 42, had been named a person of interest in Ware's disappearance, but had not previously been charged.

"Johnson is from this area," Payne said of the search site. "We have information he grew up in this area. He did go in and out of these woods as a child. He fished in this area. He's probably very familiar with it."

"This area had been previously searched in 2011," Tolbert said. "The source of information close to Mr. Johnson, the suspect in this case, had urged us to come back and check the area again."

Ware, 34, was last seen Oct. 29, 2010, when she left her workplace, Hydro Aluminum North America, in St. Augustine Shores. Her car was found in a Publix parking lot in St. Augustine.

Last year, deputies spent two days search an area of southern St. Johns County near Elkton, but no evidence in the case was found.

Johnson was arrested on unrelated sexual assault charges in Putnam County in September 2011. He had been released from jail on a reduced plea in that case.

Johnson's family home on Palmetto Street is less than a half-mile from where investigators searched Friday. A woman at the home did not want to comment.

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