Female skeletal remains found in a shallow grave in Florida in 2007 have been identified as a US woman who was never reported missing by her family.
The woman’s husband has been named as a person of interest, by detectives working on the case.
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Advancements in DNA testing and genetic genealogy helped authorities to identify the 39-year-old mother, Jeana Burrus in 2022.
The investigation into Jeana’s death remained cold until the DNA breakthrough.
Jeana, who lived in Sarasota, Florida, was never reported missing in the 15 years since her remains were found, according to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
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Jeana’s remains were in found in a wooded area in Sarasota County, near a local automotive body shop in the 5600 block of Sarah Ave where her husband James worked at the time. Jeana was unemployed at the time of her death.
She had been living in the 6200 block of Pauline Ave in Sarasota with her husband and son, James Burrus Jr.
Jeana’s son told police he was under the impression his mother had abandoned their family.
James Burrus (top right) is a person of interest for detectives investigating the unreported disappearance of his wife Jeana (left), whose skeletal remains have now been identified. Credit: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
Jeana’s uncle, Clare Wiedmaier, was approached by detectives several months ago after the DNA testing found a match with his wife.
“They could not get a match for several years until a year ago, when they had a new type of test,” Wiedmaier said.
“They performed that new test with Jeana’s body and matched with my wife right away.”
Wiedmaier said it was back in 2006 when he expected his an annual call from his niece Jeana Burrus between their two birthdays. But the call never came.
“The family tried other avenues and there was nothing,” Wiedmaier said.
“We couldn’t get hold of her. We couldn’t find her, we were waiting for her to come to us, and all we had was the lie he told to us.”
Jeana’s whereabouts were not questioned because her family never reported her missing, stated officials.
The couple lived in Citrus County, Florida and Frederick, Maryland, before moving to Sarasota County.
Authorities stated on Wednesday that they’re looking for James Burrus and anybody familiar with Jeana or James.
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