Remains found in North Fort Myers belong to 36-year-old woman, not Lauren Dumolo

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that the remains investigators were working to identify belong to 36-year-old Briana Tennant, not missing Cape Coral woman Lauren Dumolo.

“My detectives are incredibly thorough with each investigation they take on,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said in an LCSO release. “Early on, it was unclear whether these remains belonged to Lauren Dumolo. Regardless, we treated this case with the same care as all the others, and followed every possible lead.”

“While this is a setback in the quest for closure for Lauren’s family, hope remains that Lauren is out there,” said Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore in a press release. “We are grateful for the quick response to our plea for dental records at yesterday’s news conference. This new piece of evidence is vital for our ongoing investigation. I spoke with Lauren’s father Paul and he shares in the mix of emotions. While it’s disappointing to not achieve closure, that is balanced with wanting to keep hope alive that Lauren will be found safe.”

Father Paul Dumolo wants answers because he thought he would have them this week, but now knows he doesn’t.

“I’m really trying to stay calm because I went from this super low and telling everyone in my family we had this realization that this is my daughter and she’s gone,” Paul said. “And then 24 hours later, ‘Oh, sorry. No, it’s not.’”

Paul lost hope that Lauren was alive but had high hopes that he could finally bring her home, and his hopes went even higher when Scott Kleveno found the dentist who had Lauren’s dental records.

“I’m a computer geek, so I got on the internet, and from the time the press conference till about three in the morning, I’m trying to trace Lauren’s history,” Kleveno explained.

All that came crashing down a day later with a single phone call from the Cape Coral police chief.

“I was like, ‘I’m speechless. This wasn’t the call I was expecting,’” Paul said. “I was expecting you to say that you got the dental records, and this is my daughter. I never ever, ever in a million years expected to hear, ‘Sorry, it’s not your daughter.’”

Briana’s family has been notified, and they confirmed they hadn’t communicated with her in months, and never reported her as missing.

“Why wasn’t this put through this national database from the fifth to the 13th?” Paul said. “How is that not done first … It’s more than devastating. It’s heartbreaking. It’s traumatizing. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s nothing I would ever, ever wish on my worst enemy.”

This is an active investigation. There is no further information at this time.

Law enforcement held a news conference on Wednesday with a plea to dentists across the country, in hopes to obtain dental records for missing Lauren Dumolo.

That plea worked.

The next day, a dentist in Perryville, Maryland, where she lived when she was 18, said he had her records, according to Paul Dumolo, Lauren’s father. The records were needed to identify remains found in North Fort Myers off Pine Island Road near Bayshore Road on Oct. 5.

Lauren disappeared June 19, 2020, and has been considered a missing person since then.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said on Wednesday that the skeletal remains of what appears to be a white woman, between the ages of 30 and 50 were found. The person appeared to have been deceased less than five years but more than six months.

Dumolo’s father originally said investigators told him it could take approximately a week to get records and confirm the identity.

MORE: Lauren Dumolo’s dental records needed to identify recently found remains

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
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