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Community searching for closure after discovery of remains in Gadsden County

Posted at 10:52 AM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 18:31:42-05

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Human bones were found by hunters in a Gadsden County's St. Hebron community Thursday.

Deputies say hunters were out in the woods near Robinson Drive when they came across bones. They called the Gadsden County Sheriff's office and the remains were ID'd as human.

Investigators are now studying the bones to figure out the age and sex of that person.

While investigators still don't know who that person is, people in the neighborhood have some ideas.

ABC 27 has learned those remains were found near the same place where an older man disappeared in October.

People who live here believe those remains could be 81-year-old Leroy Banks. Banks, who has dementia, lived just a few miles away and disappeared more than a month and a half ago.

One neighbor says, for now, they're trying to support the family through this hard time.

"The well-beings of people to be prayed for by as many people as possible," said Thomas Williams, a neighbor in the area. "Find reasons to pray for them. Good things come out of prayer and we need to expect and believe that good things are going to come out of this."

"It's really horrible," said Pearlie Wilson, another neighbor. "We're been looking for Mr. Banks for a long time and hopefully we can get some closure. That's all I can say, we're ready for some closure. I know the family is."

The FDLE has been called in to help investigate. The sheriff's office says it will take a while studying the bones to figure out if more people were involved and if it's a criminal investigation.

To give you an idea of just how difficult the investigation is, the deputy we talked to doesn't even know the condition of the bones yet because of how deep into the woods it is.

The Gadsden County Sheriff's office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are on scene after human remains were found in the St. Hebron Community.

Around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, GCSO says they received a call from hunters in the St. Hebron Community about skeletal remains found in the woods.

GCSO, along with FDLE, are now on scene in the 200 block of Robinson Drive collecting evidence.

The sheriff's office has not made a positive Identification of the body yet, though an elderly man went missing from the area in October.

We have a reporter at the scene working to get more details.

This is a developing story. Check back for additional details shortly.