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Human Remains Found in Three Separate Suitcases in Florida Waterway Belong to Same Woman
Delray Beach Police responded to a 911 call Friday about "what was believed to be human remains hanging outside the suitcase floating within the Intracoastal Waterway." Two more suitcases then turned up.
Three suitcases filled with human remains were found floating in a waterway in the southeastern part of Florida Friday, and they were all determined to belong to the same woman, according to authorities.
Delray Beach Police responded to a 911 call just after 4 p.m. Friday after getting a report of a suspicious object floating in the city's Intracoastal Waterway, according to the department.
Police Chief Russ Mager said at a Monday press conference that "somebody was reporting a suitcase with what was believed to be human remains hanging outside the suitcase floating within the Intracoastal Waterway.
"Officers and detectives responded, were able to corroborate that it was in fact human remains that were protruding from this particular suitcase," Mager added. "Within a few hours of this particular call, we had received two other calls regarding other suitcases that were floating just south of this location."
Mager said that the two other suitcases found also contained human remains and that "all three suitcases were deemed to be the same person, the same victim as the original suitcase that was found."
"We contacted the medical examiner's office and they came out to assist with the investigation and they're also doing the autopsy on this particular case," Mager said.
Police said the remains belong to a white or Hispanic middle-aged woman. She has brown hair and is approximately 5 foot 4 inches tall. She also might have tattooed eyebrows. The unidentified woman was wearing a floral tank top with a black undershirt and black mid-thigh shorts.
Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the woman. "If you have any information that relates to this investigation, we would appreciate your assistance and feedback," Mager said. "No information is too small."
Investigators believe, based on the victim's condition, that she was placed in the water some time between July 17 and July 20. Police are therefore asking that those in the area review video surveillance footage from that time frame, specifically keeping an eye out for unusual vehicles or people, and anyone carrying or moving luggage.
Florida Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard personnel and a Boca Raton police boat have all been assisting in the investigation, WPTV reported. Marine dockhand Keenan Johnson told the station that he had never seen anything like this happen in his career.
"My first instinct was it's an endangered sea turtle or something like that was floating by," Johnson said. "I was in shock really for all this to happen."
He added: "I'm definitely not going to sleep well tonight just knowing this is going on in my backyard but it's a crazy sad world we live in today."
The grisly discovery in Florida Friday came just a day after human remains were also found in luggage in Texas.
The Bexar County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call Thursday reporting human remains found in a duffel bag that was dumped at a ranch in San Antonio, Fox News reported.
According to Sheriff Javier Salazar, the luggage was discovered by workers who were feeding the animals on the property.
There is no indication that the two cases have any connection. Police in Florida believe what happened in Delray Beach is an isolated case.
Anyone with information about the Florida discovery is asked to call Delray Beach Police Detective Mike Liberta at 561-243-7874.