Human remains identified as missing mother, Nyeisha Nelson, 20, of Crescent City

Search shifts to finding woman's killer

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, human remains discovered Saturday have been positively identified as those of missing Crescent City mother, Nyeisha Nelson.

Nelson, 20, was last seen Feb. 11 after dropping off her 5-year-old daughter at Middleton-Burney Elementary school.

District 23′s medical examiner performed an autopsy on Monday and used Nelson’s fingerprints to make a positive identification.

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The medical examiner’s office determined Nelson died of homicide.

Nelson’s sister, Tiana Banks, spoke to Action News Jax about the news of the remains being identified.

“We’re devastated, and we’re hurt. I mean, we’re truly hurt. That’s like, a piece of our heart is gone,” said Banks.

Putnam County’s chief deputy, Col. Joseph Wells, said investigators believe Nelson knew her killer(s).

“We have not identified a suspect to be specifically looking for. We have several folks that we want to talk to, known acquaintances, and people that she was known to spend some time around, and they may know something about her whereabouts,” said Wells. “But to tell you that, ‘Yes, I’ve got an actual suspect we can put out a BOLO for or be on the lookout for,’ we’re not at that point yet.”

The remains were discovered Saturday, Feb. 20 in a shallow grave in a heavily wooded area off County Road 308.

To protect the investigation, Wells did not reveal details of Nelson’s injuries or the condition of her remains.

However, Wells said the medical examiner was unable to determine an exact time of death.

Wells said detectives are conducting multiple interviews and searching Crescent City for possible surveillance video.

On Feb. 18, investigators found Nelson’s grey Honda Accord in a wooded area off Old Highway 17 outside of Crescent City near the intersection of Smiley Store Road.

Wells said evidence has been recovered from the car, but he did not reveal what that evidence entails.

Deputies believe someone may have driven Nelson’s car after she went missing.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have spotted Nelson’s car — or someone else driving it — to come forward.

“We are continuing to ask anyone who might have seen Nyeisha’s car from Feb 11 until Feb 18 to call CrimeStoppers of NE Florida at 1-888-277-8477 or download the P3 app. Tips are anonymous and eligible for reward if leading to an arrest,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

The family’s asking for the community’s help in their search for justice.

“If you know anything, just say something. It don’t matter how small you think it is. Because anything will help! We just want to know who did it and why!” said Banks.

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