Identity of teeth, remains in Clermont field eludes investigators

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CLERMONT, Fla. —

Word spread quickly through Clermont in 2009 when city workers mowing a city-owned field found human teeth.

Weeks later, criminal investigators came upon additional teeth, bones and possibly a bullet.

For years, townspeople sought to find out whose remains were in the field, and how the person died.

Last week, the Lake County Sheriff's Office finished an investigation into the unidentified man's death, but it does little to unravel the mystery.

Lake County resident Linda Charlton said theories abound.

"For old-timers, I'd say, oh yeah, there are stories," Charlton said.

The report said the amount of remains recovered equates to less than a handful, therefore the cause of death couldn't be determined.

DNA testing showed the remains might belong to a Texas man missing since 1984.

But the Clermont police department couldn't find a connection between him and their city, or even the state of Florida.

Neither could the Sheriff's Office.

Other theories suggested other remains might even be in the same field.

"I've heard specific stories pertaining to other hypothetical bodies," Charlton said.

After a search with cadaver dogs, that was ruled out.

It's led local residents like Charlton to think the authorities might have something to hide.
"I believe the phraseology is we cannot find anything to support the cover-up. And it's hard to prove a negative. And maybe there is no cover-up. But for me, the jury is still out," Charlton said.

The reports said there is no indication of any cover-up by the Clermont Police Department.