Foul play suspected in discovery of skeletal remains in Northwest Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said the bones found on Utsey Road on Thursday are the remains of Corbin Odell Johnson, 18.

ORIGINAL STORY - The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after human remains were found while a man was plowing a field in a remote area of Jacksonville in the 6700 block of Utsey Road.

The investigation into human remains found Thursday ramped up by Friday as detectives, cadaver dogs and forensic teams scoured a two-acre plot of land off Utsey Road.

The area JSO is focusing on is in a rural part of the Duval County not far from Imeson and Pritchard roads.

Joseph Cummings who was hired to mow the lawn on the property was the first one to call JSO on Thursday after his tractor hit an object.

“After I hit [it], the bag got wrapped up in my mower and all I heard was plastic hitting the motor,” said Cummings.

When he stopped to look, he saw a skull and several other bones.

“I seen the green tarp and a black bag, and they were both concealing the remains,” said Cummings.


JSO Lt. Craig Waldrup gave the news media a briefing Friday afternoon confirming foul play is involved.

“Just the position that the body was left, just through years of homicide experience, we pretty much determined that foul play was suspected,” said Waldrup.

Cummings and his wife Shannon Whitman run their landscaping business just feet away from the property they were working Thursday.

“Somebody had to know the area to make it back there’s just no other way,” said Whitman.

The skeletal remains are still on the property until forensic teams can canvass the area to make sure nothing is missed. Cummings’ tractor also remains at the scene, so investigators can inspect it as well.

In the meantime, JSO said it doesn’t know and won’t know for weeks or even months whose body was dumped in these woods.

Every year 4,400 bodies are discovering in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Justice. About 1,000 of those cannot be identified after one year.

If the Duval County medical examiner cannot ID the remains then JSO will enter the findings in a national database called “NamUs” which stands for National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

If you have any information that could help JSO on this case call Crimestoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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