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Naples PD gets help from FGCU in identifying remains

Posted at 2:40 AM, Apr 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-14 02:40:09-04

It's not your average classroom for a handful of FGCU students.

They are assisting Naples police with identifying a body found near Tamiami Trail and Goodlette-Frank Road April 2nd.

Investigators believe the remains were a man in his late 30's.

"The longer that skeleton's remains are left outside, usually the less material you collect," said Dr. Heather Walsh-Haney, a Forensic Anthropologist working on the case.

Dr. Walsh-Haney and her students are tasked with trying to find out how the person found near the Gordon River died, even if the body is in poor condition.

The team already has a few leads to go on, including a necklace that says the word "faith" on it found on the victim.

In cases like this Dr Walsh-Haney says she has to look at the victim's lifestyle and diet, to determine possible factors in their death.

"So I have an expectation about what someone from 2018 does with their body, versus someone from the 1950's and the 1980s."

Student Kristina Startt says even in this day and age where there are cameras everywhere, hundreds of people go missing every year and sometimes are never found.

"Sometimes missing persons will stay missing persons will stay missing persons and that's the problem because there are still a lot of unidentifieds here in Florida."

The victim in this case had a gunshot wound but it was not a factor in his death.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Naples Police Department.