A homeless Florida man is making headlines after he discovered human remains along a walking path in Indian River County. However, it’s not the discovery of the remains that is attracting attention, but his treatment of the remains, instead. New York Daily News reports that the unnamed man carried the skull of the apparent murder victim to a nearby Publix grocery store, where witnesses saw him doing something peculiar with it.
The homeless man allegedly discovered the human remains and ventured to the Publix grocery store in order to let people know of the discovery. However, he took the skull with him either as a means to prove that he had found human remains, or to play a sick and twisted joke on shoppers. His treatment of the human skull prompted shocked employees of the grocery store to call 911 and report what was happening. At least one witness claims that the Florida man was using the skull as a puppet. A witness told media reporters about what he saw.
“He was using it as a puppet. It smelled like death.”
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Thomas Raulen explained some of the other details surrounding the man’s treatment of the human skull.
“He had put the skull on top of a trash can over there because he wanted to tell somebody to call the sheriff’s office.”
The sheriff’s office spokesman did not clarify on how the homeless Florida man used the skull as a puppet, or any other treatment of the skull. The spokesman also did not clarify whether or not the homeless man was arrested.
WPBF News 25 reports that the human remains were so badly deteriorated that the skull had simply been sitting on top of the pile of bones. The advanced decomposition of the skeletal remains indicates that the body had been at the location for quite some time, but authorities believe that the victim may have been decapitated. At this time authorities are unable to determine the gender, age or race of the remains. Furthermore, they do not yet know the cause of death.
The area where the remains were discovered is near an area where homeless people frequent — which explains why the homeless man discovered the bones. However, it should be noted that the remains were not near any of the so-called “homeless camps” in the area.
Indian River County is a small coastal region that sits between Daytona Beach and Boca Raton, down the eastern coast of the Sunshine State. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System shares that only three people are listed as “missing” from the Indian River County area. One woman has been missing from this area since September of this year, a man vanished in August of 2013, and another man has been missing from this region since October 7, 2007.
Authorities have not indicated whether or not the remains belong to any of the three missing people from this county. It should be noted that all three missing persons from this county vanished from the Vero Beach area. According to NamUs, at least 21 people have been reported missing from the neighboring county of Brevard since 1977.
If you have any information that could prove useful to authorities investigating this case, please do not hesitate to contact the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office at (772) 569-6700. Any tip or information could prove useful in identifying the remains found by the homeless Florida man. It should also be noted that, to date, there are five cases of unidentified bodies in Indian River County alone. In the state of Florida, total, there are more than 800 cases of human remains that have yet to be identified — the oldest set being from the year 1957.
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