Skeleton of woman who was never registered missing found 16 years after death
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Featured Image Credit: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
The skeletal remains of a woman found in a shallow grave in a wooded area have been identified, some 16 years after they were first found.
Authorities have now confirmed the remains to belong to 39-year-old Jeana Lynn Burrus, whose husband never reported her missing. Her son had been under the impression that she had simply abandoned the family, police have said.
The remains were initially found in a shallow grave on 6 February 2007, however authorities could not make a positive identification at the time.
A press release confirms that when she died Jeana lived at 6200 of Pauline Avenue in Sarasota. She lived with her son and husband, James Burrus Jr and James Burrus.
Her husband had been working at a local body ship, while her son was a student at Gulf Gate Elementary School between 2005-06. She herself was unemployed.
It has now been revealed that the investigation into Jeana's death was complicated more by the fact that her husband and family never reported her missing.
Authorities say that 'her whereabouts had not been questioned'.
The family had previously lived in Citrus County, Florida and in Frederick in Maryland before they moved to the area. Authorities have said they are now seeking information from anyone who is familiar with Jeana and with James Burrus.
However, James and James Jr do not live at the Sarasota residence any longer. The current occupant of the family's former residence rents the home. She confirmed to Fox 13 that investigators had searched the property a few months ago.
Speaking about James, Det. Mark Lefebvre of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office told ABC 7: “We know he abruptly left Sarasota and moved to California. He was there for a short time and we believe there was a crime stoppers report submitted to the media around that time relating to this case. Then he abruptly left California and went back to Maryland."
Not only were Jeana's whereabouts never questioned, but some of her own family were not aware that she had passed away until recently.
Her son had believed that she had abandoned the family.
Jeana's uncle Clare George Wiedmaier, told the Herald-Tribune that he had lost contact with his niece in 2006.
He said: “We were waiting for her to show up anytime, especially around the birthdays, like she did in the past, knock on our door."
Unfortunately, he later found out that she had died.
“It wasn’t pleasant news", he said. “It was tearful news. Shocking. We refused to believe it.”