FORT MYERS, Fla. It was once said to be the largest excavation of human remains in Florida history. And Fort Myers Police call it their most challenging case ever.
Eight unidentified human skeletal remains were found in the woods off Arcadia Street more than ten years ago.
In 2007 a land surveyor stumbled across a skull. Since then, only three of the eight bodies have been identified.
Forensic Anthropologist Heather Walsh-Haney recalls that day. She walked through the brush to the location where the remains were found to find law enforcement investigating eight sets of human bones. All of the remains were found in the same area and all were buried under ground.
“I remembered thinking that this was a wooded area, very similar to many cases I had worked throughout Florida, where it was an area that was secluded and it would be an area that would be easy to hide a crime.” Walsh-Haney said.
It’s a crime that has remained an unsolved since the morning of March 23, 2007. Police are still trying to find out who these men are, how they were murdered, who killed them, and why.
Many of the victims were young men between 20 and 40. Most of them had healed fractures to their arms, their legs, their ribs, even their face. Walsh-Haney says these signs prove the eight men had fallen on difficult times. “Something happened in their life history to have them change direction because that health status, their dental health, their skeletal health, was that of people who lived very hard”
Over the past decade three of them have been identified – Jonathan Tihay, Erric Kohler and John Blevins.
“He said I’m going to go out for a little while and said ill be back and he never showed back” Blevins mother told wink news, she said he visited Fort Myers in the mid 90s and vanished. She gave DNA to investigators, and it matched.
The five other men, with no clothes or baggage, remain unidentified.
Blevins mother added, “Its been a decade. Theres not a year that goes by that I don’t think about the men.”
While Fort Myers Police have talked with WINK about the case in the past — they declined to comment for this story. They said they have no new information to provide.