MARION COUNTY, Fla. - The Marion County Sheriff’s Office may have found the remains of a man who has been missing since 2000.
The possible remains of Jerry Chirstilaw were uncovered Wednesday in the backyard of an Ocala home off Southwest 27th Avenue and 89th Place.
Thursday, investigators were busying digging up the backyard, searching for more human remains.
Deputies said information was given two months ago concerning Chirstilaw.
They said a preliminary investigation revealed that Chirstilaw died during a domestic dispute and was buried in the backyard where the family previously lived.
He was never reported missing.
A family member of Chirstilaw was able to respond to the location with permission from the new homeowner and show deputies the possible burial site.
The family member helped pinpoint the possible burial site for investigators to search.
The homeowner, Patricia Whiting, said she thought it was some kind of cruel joke when investigators showed up to her home.
Thursday she watched as investigators. The medical examiner, and representatives from University of Florida’s C.A. Pounds lab worked to remove the remains.
She said detectives first showed up in April, but didn’t find anything.
Then she said when they came back Wednesday, they discovered the body buries under the area where her laundry room has been located for seven years.
“Every time I [did] laundry, I walked over it, but I didn’t know it was there,” Whiting said.
Detectives said they’re working to identify the remains and are investigating leads to a person of interest.
Neighbors who knew the Christilaw family said they were shocked and had no idea Jerry Christilaw was missing.
Whiting said she wants the victim to get a proper burial, and she’s ready for this nightmare to end.