- Two Jackson County men went missing in October of 2021.
- Their remains were found in October of 2023.
- The sheriff's office details had they made two arrests in the news release below.
- The sheriff's office also provided the video above from the scene of the discovery.
On November 2, 2021, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) received reports that Stephon Gaines and Nicholas Hollis were missing. Investigators immediately began a missing persons investigation, and it was revealed that the two men were last seen on October 20, 2021. The entire Criminal Investigations Division and all their resources were dedicated to searching for Gaines and Hollis.
Throughout the course of the investigation, more than 25 search warrants were written and executed. The investigation was active for two years, with investigators working thousands of hours attempting to locate Gaines and Hollis.
During the investigation, Jeremiah Castro was interviewed and determined to be a person of interest. As the investigation continued, another person of interest, Willtaye Young, was identified.
On October 11, 2023, the investigation led investigators to a wooded area in Jacob City where they found skeletal remains and identifying evidence, which led them to believe this to be the remains of Gaines and Hollis. Immediately upon locating the remains and evidence, JCSO Investigators made next of kin notifications to the families of both victims.
Young is currently serving time in the Gadsden County Jail for Possession of Cannabis More than 20 Grams, Carrying a Concealed Firearm and Dealing in Stolen Property and has charges in Leon County for Kidnapping. He is now being charged with two counts of Murder and Principal to Murder.
Castro was taken into custody by the United States Marshal Service on October 19, 2023, near Atlanta, Georgia and is also being charged with two counts of Murder and is being extradited to Jackson County to face these charges.
Sheriff Edenfield would like to thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Tallahassee Police Department, Dothan Police Department, Palm Bay Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Chipley Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office of the 14th Judicial Circuit, the State Attorney’s Office of the 2nd Judicial Circuit, Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, Prince George County Police Department, Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Utika, New York Police Department, West Melbourne Police Department, the Medical Examiner’s Office of the 14th Judicial Circuit and the United States Marshal Service for their assistance in this case.
Sheriff Edenfield and the entire Jackson County Sheriff’s Office extend their deepest condolences to the families and friends of Stephon Gaines and Nicholas Hollis.