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A Florida contractor is facing a murder charge after authorities recovered the remains of a woman that they say hired him to complete work on her house before she vanished.
Corey Binderim, a 45-year-old Fleming Island resident, was charged Friday with murder and evidence tampering in relation to the disappearance and death of 65-year-old Susan Mauldin, Florida State Attorney Melissa Nelson said Saturday during a press conference held in conjunction with the FBI and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities recovered Mauldin’s body in the Chesser Island Road Landfill in Folkston, Georgia, three months after she went missing on Oct. 25, 2019, Nelson said. It was then that Binderim, who was already in custody at the Duval County jail in relation to an unrelated forgery charge, was charged with murder.
Soon after Mauldin went missing, Binderim was identified as a person of interest in the case, Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels said. After they identified a Florida-area waste management transfer facility as a “place of interest,” the sheriff’s office reached out to the FBI for assistance in the case, and together with waste management officials and the state attorney’s office, they identified the area to be searched, according to authorities.
Over the course of 10 days, nearly 100 people with the aforementioned organizations worked together to search through around 7,300 tons of trash at the Chesser Island Road Landfill, which receives waste from Clay County, the area where Mauldin lived, authorities said. Between 70 and 90 people searched beginning at sunrise each day, with a total of around 215 individuals from various organizations — including the FBI and corrections officers with Clay County — taking part in combing an area roughly the size of a baseball diamond.
A break in the case came on day nine — Jan. 29 — when a corrections officer located a human skull; using dental records, that human skull was found to belong to Mauldin, FBI Jacksonville Special Agent Rachel Rojas said. The following morning, an FBI agent searching in the same area found more remains, which were also later identified as belonging to Mauldin.
“The news was heartbreaking for all of us because we’ve come to know a lot about Ms. Mauldin through this investigation, and we know that she was cherished by many people in the community,” Rojas said. “But we’re also encouraged, because it was the confirmation of what we believed all along, and now we’re able to take this very big step forward toward justice for her because she certainly did not deserve to be taken away from us in this way.”
Authorities have said that Mauldin crossed paths with Binderim after hiring him to complete a contracting job at her house, the Florida Times-Union reports. However, he failed to do the work, and she asked for a refund, according to the outlet.
Binderim had previously been identified as a person of interest in St. John’s County due to similar allegations; the sheriff’s office there put out an alert in December asking anyone who may have had any dealings with Binderim to contact the authorities.
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