Jeana Lynn Burrus' remains were identified 16 years after the discovery in a wooded grave; her husband never reported her missing, and her son thought she had abandoned them. New DNA testing revealed her identity, raising questions about her disappearance.
Skeleton Of Woman Who Was Never Registered Missing Found 16 Years After Death
The skeleton remains of a woman discovered in a shallow grave in a wooded region have been identified, some 16 years after they were discovered.
Authorities have now determined that the bones belong to Jeana Lynn Burrus, 39, whose husband never reported her missing. According to investigators, her son believed she had just abandoned the family.
The remains were discovered in a shallow grave on February 6, 2007, but police were unable to establish a definitive identification at the time.
In November 2022, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office "used current advancement in DNA testing and genetic genealogy to make a positive identification."
According to a press release, Jeana lived at 6200 Pauline Avenue in Sarasota at the time of her death. She shared an apartment with her son and husband, James Burrus Jr. and James Burrus.
Her spouse worked at a local body shop, and her son attended Gulf Gate Elementary School from 2005 to 2006. She was also unemployed.
The investigation into Jeana's death has now been hampered further by the fact that her husband and family never reported her missing.
Authorities claim that 'her whereabouts had not been questioned'.
Before moving to the area, the family had lived in Citrus County, Florida, and Frederick, Maryland. Authorities have stated that they are now seeking information from anyone who knows Jeana or James Burrus.
However, James and James Jr. no longer reside at the Sarasota home. The home is currently rented by the current occupant of the family's prior residence.
She acknowledged to Fox 13 that the property had been searched a few months earlier.
Det. Mark Lefebvre of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office told ABC 7 about James: “We know he abruptly left Sarasota and moved to California. He was there for a short time and we believe there was a crime stoppers report submitted to the media around that time relating to this case. Then he abruptly left California and went back to Maryland."
Jeana's whereabouts were never questioned, and members of her own family were unaware that she had died until recently.
Her son thought she had abandoned the family.
Clare George Wiedmaier, Jeana's uncle, informed the Herald-Tribune that he had lost communication with his niece in 2006.
He said: “We were waiting for her to show up anytime, especially around the birthdays, as she did in the past, knock on our door."
Unfortunately, he later discovered she had died.
“It wasn’t pleasant news", he said. “It was tearful news. Shocking. We refused to believe it.”