Deputies: No new clues found in forensic excavation related to Altoona woman’s 2011 disappearance

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A recent search for clues in the 2011 disappearance of an Altoona woman came up empty, Marion County deputies announced Monday.


According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, their deputies were assisting the Lake County Sheriff’s Office last week with a forensic excavation on SE 222nd Court in Umatilla.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County deputies were following up on a tip they received related to the 2011 cold case disappearance of then 25-year-old Lacey Buenfil.

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Deputies say only animal remains were found during the search with no evidence of human remains present.

According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Buenfil was last seen two days after Christmas in 2011.

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She was captured on surveillance video on Dec. 27 at the Citgo gas station on the corner of State Road 19 and County Road 42 in Altoona where she was seen with a man identified as Terry McDowell, who has since died.

After leaving the store around 3 p.m., the couple was believed to have gotten McDowell’s black pickup truck stuck on Railroad Grade Road in the Ocala National Forest, just to the south of Forest Road.

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According to the Sheriff’s Office, McDowell told them Buenfil walked to the south to get help and was never heard from again.

Buenfil would be 36 years old today. The investigation into her disappearance is ongoing.

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