LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The body recovered from a densely wooded area near Howard Road and Bahama Way in Bokeelia has been positively identified through dental records as 41-year-old Amy Patterson.
On Tuesday, 45-year-old Daniel Proctor allegedly told Lee County Sheriff's Office as to the location of a body. As a result, deputies, detectives and crime scene technicians responded late Wednesday afternoon to investigate further.
Patterson's body was discovered and turned over to the District 21 Medical Examiner, where she was positively identified.
Sheriff's Office detectives had been in Alabama to testify in the trial of Daniel Proctor, a former resident of Bokeelia. On September 5, 2011, Proctor was located in Okeechobee. He was sleeping in a stolen vehicle, at 3:45 a.m., when members of the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force approached him in a hotel parking lot. He was taken into custody without further incident and transported back to Lee County where he remained until extradited to Alabama on a warrant for grand theft auto and theft of a firearm.
Earlier that month, investigators identified Proctor as a suspect in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Amy Patterson, a middle school teacher with the Lee County School District. She was reported missing in July, 2011 when she did not show up for the start of the school year, July 25th. Detectives feared she was the victim of a domestic homicide. Proctor had fled in her vehicle, which was recovered in Alabama. He stole another vehicle, a 1997 Ford Explorer, and a .380 handgun before leaving a note indicating he may be en route back to Florida. Daniel Proctor has now been convicted on the charges in Alabama.
A cause of death is yet to be determined and will require further forensic analysis.
The investigation continues.
The Lee County School District released the following statement in response to this news:
"Lee County Public Schools is deeply saddened by the loss of former Mariner Middle School science teacher Amy Patterson. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this tragic time.
While only with the District for a short time, Ms. Patterson proved to be a dedicated professional and her love of science and teaching was evident from the first day. She was the kind of person you look for when hiring a new teacher – and she will be missed by the Mariner Middle School Family.
Given the tragic turn of events, the District will work with those individuals who may need to speak with someone about what has transpired. Counselors are ready to work with students and staff during this time and will be available if they are needed.
The District would like to take this opportunity thank the members of the law enforcement community who placed a high priority on this situation. Their tireless efforts are greatly appreciated."