The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Cold Case Unit has been actively investigating a cold case homicide of an unidentified female from 1993.
In January of 1993, two young boys were playing basketball at the end of their cul-de-sac on Sea Ship Place. Their basketball went into the woods and when they went to retrieve their basketball, they found skeletal remains under some brush.
At the time, FCSO investigated the incident with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). They located partial skeletal remains and collected other items of evidence from the scene. Forensic Anthropologists from the University of Florida and the Medical Examiner’s Office were able to provide the following estimates about the victim in 1993:
- She had been deceased for approximately 2-3 years
- She is a white female, possibly Indian
- 25-35 years old (she would have been born between 1955-1965)
- Approximately 64 inches in height (5 ft 3 inches)
- Has an old right nasal fracture
A facial approximation was completed in 1993 and distributed to news media for dissemination. Since then, several missing persons cases have been compared to this victim, but no matches were ever made.
In 2021, Sheriff Rick Staly created a Cold Case Unit to investigate old unresolved cases involving homicide, missing persons, and sexual battery to bring closure to victims and their families and to hold offenders accountable.
In July 2021, a DNA laboratory, Othram, was able to develop a DNA profile for the victim. It was also discovered that the victim is African American, possibly mixed with Caucasian. Through investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) research, Othram was able to establish this victim is a descendant of George Washington Coleman and Clarissa Minnick from the Edgefield/Aiken, South Carolina area.
In 2022, Detective Sarah Scalia was assigned to the Cold Case Unit to investigate unsolved cases in Flagler County. DNA technology is evolving constantly, so all FCSO cold cases are in the process of undergoing new DNA processing in hopes of identifying the victims, if unknown, to determine who they are and, hopefully, who did it.
Detective Scalia and Othram are actively engaged in research in hopes of identifying this victim. At least 30 relatives have been contacted from the extensive family tree, but so far, her identity remains unknown. One of these relatives is Donya Williams who is a genealogist with an organization called Genealogy Adventures. Ms. Williams has shared her knowledge of African American genealogy and specific expertise of the region of Edgefield, South Carolina with Detective Scalia in hopes of identifying this victim.
Detective Scalia has also been working with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to help identify this victim.
On January 10, 2023, on the 30th anniversary of her discovery, Detective Scalia hand-delivered the victim’s skull to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) Forensic Imaging Unit. After a careful review of the skull and the ancestry information provided to them, PBSO forensic artists were able to reconstruct the victim’s skull and create a new facial approximation. It should be noted that facial reconstructions aim to achieve a likeness of the unidentified individual and should not be viewed as a portrait of the individual.
“We hope that someone may be able to identify this woman so we can bring closure to her family who has been waiting for over 30 years to know what happened to her,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “We know someone out there knows something, so call us. We also thank the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for assisting us, especially their Forensic Imaging Unit, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and our other community partners.”
If anyone has any information on the identity of this victim or information about her death, please contact the FCSO Cold Case Unit, Detective Scalia ([email protected]), email [email protected], or call FCSO at 386-313-4911 or call CrimeStoppers of NE Florida at 888-277- TIPS. CrimeStoppers of NE Florida offers a reward of up to $5,000.00.
Celia Pugliese says
Thank you Sheriff Staly for trying hard to resolve this young woman’s murder! I am amaze at the detailed DNA investigation that is advancing this case to find out her killer! May she be by the Lord!
The Geode says
They can’t even solve the murder of Robert Stubbs that happened in a city the size of a matchbox and a LOT more recent than this. How in hell are they gonna solve this murder? Magic?
Buck Tussle says
Hey Uncle/Auntie Ruckus, that’s your neck of the woods. How bout you solve Mr. Stubbs murder! Always quick with your snarky phrases and one-liners. Clean up your own backyard, your roots, where you come from before you continue to cast stones. Oh yeah, I forgot. Your coping mechanism is to remove yourself from Bunnell and pat yourself on the back when negativity strikes because you were fortunate enough to land in better circumstance. However, it appears your keyboard split personality seems to surface when you find your own reflection staring back at you from your monitor, a reminder of where you really come from.
The Geode says
If that were my “Job” or had I an vested interest beyond wanting the people whose job it is to solve murders, I would. However, I am comfortable getting people like you to notice behind the keyboard. Apparently, it is working. I wasn’t aware I was “casting stones” and for someone that has been obviously following my postings (thank you very much), you fail to realize that I haven’t “removed myself from Bunnell” because I never left. Your feeble ad hominem attack makes me think you are the “Rukus” because you implied that I would have to remove myself from Bunnell to “improve my circumstance”. I didn’t “land” here. I work to get here, and nobody “gave” me shit, I’ve always depended on myself to do what had to be done. Everyone that reads my postings can agree that I am consistent. My opinion and writings never change. There’s no convolution, hidden meanings, or oxymoronic statements. I look in the mirror every day and I like what I see. I AM BUNNELL. I will defend it. I will do what I can to let the people (those who are receptive) know that I care. What are YOU doing besides hurling insults and making erroneous assumptions? I am curious. Am I an “Uncle Rukus” because I don’t subscribe to groupthink and tend to think on MY own terms or am I just triggering you because I can rebut and belittle you without insulting you? That being said, if they gave me a badge, gun, power of arrest, and a paycheck – I could solve this within a month. GOOD DAY, SIR! (or ma’am or them-they-it)
Let’s see it. Volunteer to take the case if Bunnell didn’t mess it up from the jump
Mayor Humdinger says
That’s Bunnell PD and their incompetence…Not FCSO
Cynthia Wheaton Whiteman says
I’m a bit confused. The article says she’s a white female, possibly Indian, but later in the article it says she was of African American decent, possible mixed with Caucasian. Can someone clarify for me?
Buck Tussle says
The original 1993 investigation led authorities to to believe she may be “a white female, possibly Indian”.
Updated info says “In July 2021, a DNA laboratory, Othram, was able to develop a DNA profile for the victim. It was also discovered that the victim is African American, possibly mixed with Caucasian.”