FCSO Cold Case Unit Needs Help Identifying 1993 Cold Case Homicide Victim

Cold Case Graphic

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Cold Case Unit has been actively investigating a cold case homicide of an unidentified female from 1993. New information and facial approximation are now available to assist in solving this case.

On Sea Ship Place in January 1993, two young boys were playing basketball at the end of their cul-de-sac. When they went to retrieve their basketball, they discovered skeletal remains hidden under some brush after their basketball went into the woods.

With assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the FCSO conducted an investigation into the incident at the time. They gathered additional pieces of evidence from the scene and discovered partial skeletal remains. In 1993, forensic anthropologists from the Medical Examiner’s Office and the University of Florida were able to provide the following estimations regarding the victim:

  • She was dead for about two to three years;
  • She is white and possibly Indian;
  • She is 25 to 35 years old (she would have been born between 1955 and 1965);
  • She is approximately 5 feet 3 inches tall;
  • She has an old right nasal fracture.

A facial approximation was completed in 1993 and distributed to the media for distribution. Since then, a number of cases involving missing people have been compared to this victim, but no matches have ever been found.

In order to bring closure to the victims and their families as well as hold those responsible accountable, Sheriff Rick Staly established a Cold Case Unit in 2021 to look into previously unsolved cases of homicide, missing persons, and sexual battery.

Othram, a DNA laboratory, was successful in creating the victim’s DNA profile in July 2021. The victim also turned out to be African American, possibly mixed with Caucasian. Othram was able to determine that this victim is a descendant of George Washington Coleman and Clarissa Minnick, who lived in the Edgefield/Aiken, South Carolina, area, through investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) research.

In 2022, Detective Sarah Scalia joined the Cold Case Unit to look into Flagler County’s unsolved crimes. Since DNA technology is constantly changing, all FCSO cold cases are undergoing new DNA processing in the hopes of determining the victims’ identities and, hopefully, who committed the crime.

In the hope of locating this victim, Detective Scalia and Othram are actively conducting research. From the extensive family tree, at least 30 relatives have been contacted, but her identity is still unknown. Donya Williams, who works as a genealogist for the organization Genealogy Adventures, is one of these relatives. In the hope of locating this victim, Ms. Williams has shared with Detective Scalia her expertise in the area of Edgefield, South Carolina, as well as her knowledge of African American ancestry. In addition, in order to assist in the identification of this victim, Detective Scalia has been collaborating with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina.

On the 30th anniversary of her discovery, on January 10, 2023, Detective Scalia delivered the victim’s skull by hand to the Forensic Imaging Unit of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO). PBSO forensic artists were able to reconstruct the victim’s skull and create a new facial approximation after carefully examining the skull and the ancestry data provided. It is important to keep in mind that facial reconstructions are not meant to be viewed as portraits of the individual; rather, their goal is to produce a likeness of the unidentified 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.”

Please contact Detective Scalia of the FCSO Cold Case Unit at sscalia@flaglersheriff.com, email TIPS@flaglersheriff.com, call FCSO at 386-313-4911, or call CrimeStoppers of NE Florida at 888-277-TIPS if you have any information regarding this victim’s identity or her death. A reward of up to $5,000.00 is offered by CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida.

By Kim Hunt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *