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Investigators conclude search for evidence and possible human remains in Southwest Ranches

Davie police say they are seeking evidence in relation to an ongoing forensic investigation in Southwest Ranches.
Davie police say they are seeking evidence in relation to an ongoing forensic investigation in Southwest Ranches.

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. – A forensic team concluded their search for the remains of a missing person in Southwest Ranches, police told the media Friday evening.

In a statement to the media, the Town of Davie Police Department stated, in full:

“Davie Police Criminal Investigations Division, accompanied by Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Gulf Coast University Forensic Research Team were in the area of Southwest Ranches seeking evidence, including the possibility of human remains, in relation to an ongoing investigation. On Friday, September 24, 2021 a multi-agency excavation took place and resulted in no human remains being found.”

Although no human remains were found, they confirmed the had been searching for evidence, which included the possibility of human remains, in relation to an ongoing forensic investigation.

The statement goes on to read:

“However, Davie Police Criminal Investigation Division will continue to investigate the aforementioned information and this case remains open and active. No further details will be release as to not compromise the integrity of the investigation.”

The Southwest Ranches investigation began on Thursday, when Sky 10 was above the area of Mustang Trail from Southwest 136th Avenue to Melaleuca Road as law enforcement agencies from Davie and Pasco and Palm Beach counties were in the area. On Friday, officials from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office were also in the area.

Authorities were also spotted in the same area a couple of weeks prior.

The operation focused on one side of a bridge — a bridge neighbors say was recently built.

“It’s alarming — it’s concerning,” said neighbor Samantha Sawyer. “Because we’re rural town. It’s a family community.”

Davie police would not confirm whether they are searching for human remains at the time, but said they were seeking evidence in relation to an ongoing investigation.

The investigation, we’re told, was sparked by a tip.

Sources say investigators got positive “hits” from cadaver dogs and soil samples, which has led to a more extensive search Friday.

Sky 10 was back over the area as a team of forensic scientists from Florida Gulf Coast University were spotted along with law enforcement officials.

Another source familiar with homicide investigations told Local 10 News that they were searching for bone fragments since they are shoveling dirt into buckets and using sifters, which means these could be very old remains.


About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.