Sunday night after firefighters responded to a small brush fire off Cypress Edge Parkway in Palm Coast, they discovered the charred body of a person, presumed to be homeless, within the fire, next to the homeless person’s tent.
Early this morning, as Branch Manager Jonathan Nemergut was getting ready to open the Bunnell branch library off Old Moody Boulevard, he found a man deceased by the building’s side entrance.
“We believe he was one of our homeless residents,” said Flagler County Library Director Holly Albanese. “He would use the library every day.”
Bunnell police assisted by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Scene Investigation unit responded to the scene.
“It doesn’t appear to be a homicide,” Bunnell Police Detective Kyle Totten said at the scene, but he said the scene was being processed and all avenues explored, with nothing being ruled out. He said a toxicology report will be conducted, with those results likely not ready for some 16 weeks. (Totten, who has extensive experience in law enforcement, started working for the Bunnell Police Department two weeks ago.)
Two staffers were in the building this morning, not permitted to leave, Albanese said, so as not to contaminate the crime scene area being processed. (The crime scene is so designated until a crime has been ruled out.) Obviously, the branch was closed to the public until the completion of the on-scene investigation, said Bunnell Police Chief Tom Foster, who was also at the scene.
Normally Nemergut and other staff members enter the branch library–which used to be a post office–from the dock area in back of the building, as was the case this morning. Nemergut then found the man on the side of the building, near the air conditioning units. “Finding someone deceased is obviously upsetting to anyone,” Albanese said. She said Nemergut is a military veteran who’s had deployments in war zones, and could handle the situation.
Nemergut, who’s been at the branch library a year and a half, said the man, possibly in his early 40s, was a regular throughout that time. “I know he was from New York, he had a son, he’d come into the library, he’d charge his phone,” Nemergut said, and would be in and out of the library through the day. He’d “soak up” the air conditioning on hot days, and otherwise spend some time on the library’s public computers or relax.
“I’m going to lift every stone, I owe it to the victim and I owe it to his family,” Foster said.
The investigation was not impeding traffic on Old Moody Boulevard (State Road 100). Nemergut and his fellow-staffer were keeping busy, he said, as the investigation outside went on into late morning Monday.
This “homeless man” had a name. Rob…..I believe his last name was Bunnell…..at least that’s what he told me.
His name was Robert Thomas Cronin Jr. He changed his last name to Valenti upon marrying his wife. He was a loving son brother husband nephew and father to two boys. He tried so very hard in life and was misunderstood. He was an amazing person with a kind heart and soul!! My best memories were with him. He was my older brother and he will forever be missed and loved by many.
Annmarie bibeau says
His name is Robert Cronin he is my cousin. Was kid napped as a lot type boy by his father robert. Stole for m his mother in Staten island. His mother Theresa is deaf. She endured extreme trauma by loosing her son. She faugut along with entire family to get Him back but I’m court the father of Robert made Theresa out to he mute and stupid bc she was deaf. This is part of the story.
So how did his life turn out….after he was kidnapped….since you told his whole life story in 1 sentence
Marie, Warren, & Theresa says
Rest In Peace Brother Robert we will miss you and Mommy will miss you too 💜
Essandra Seymour says
This is My Nephew . And May he sleep in peace . He was a Very Misunderstood Man like my Niece posted above. He Was a Very Big Hearted Nephew and I Miss him So Very Much ! I’m still trying to digest this . To Him , I am So Very Sorry You are Gone. I am Deeply Saddened and Overwhelmed with Grief . I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MORE THAN ANYONE COULD KNOW ! Sleep Now Until the Day we look into each others Eyes again . All My Love Sweetheart !!!
Annmarie bibeau says
He would be alive today and a normal healthy adult if he wasn’t taken ( stolen by his father) poor kid was brain washed.
If they only new his whole life story they would not beleave it . Many years of his mothers cries for her son . That was taken away .
I’m his sister we have the same dad. I grew up in the same household. I have a successful life. My brother wasnt hid like you think. No one seriously knew where we all lived. My father married my mother they had me when beau was 10. Please don’t come on here and speak I’ll of people that have passed and cant defend their side of the story. Your more than welcome to make contact with me through here or email. [email protected]
Thx for your comment sandy wow there are still some decent humans are there
Thx for your comment sandy…wow there are decent humans are there
Patrick Caruso says
Uncle Pat(Caruso) the nephew I never got to know😔
He probably would have had a family of his own a job multiple kids like my other 16 nieces and nephews that grew up in my family.
Robert Cronin senior went 2 PS 32 on Staten Island push the teacher down and kidnapped Robert from his kindergarten class and that was the last time we were ever allowed to seehim.
Peter Fallon says
I knew Rob fairly well. He was a good guy very intelligent and always pushing to try and do better. He will be missed.
Appreciate your comment Pete thanks I’ll see you around
RIP now Dear Nephew Bo .
Nicole Cronin-Shrimplin says
1 year my brother has been gone. May he rest in peace. He is truly missed I love you!