CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Juveniles found skeletal remains in a wooded area beside a Kohl's store in Fleming Island near East-West Parkway around 2:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon and Clay County Sheriff's Office detectives found more remains and clothing on Monday.
The juveniles were walking through the area when they spotted the partial skeletal remains, according to Public Information Officer Mary Justino with the sheriff's office.
Justino said the amount of information the sheriff's office has is limited regarding the sex, race, age and cause of death. She said the body is "in a major decomposition state."
On Monday, detectives said they are using cadaver dogs to search the area as well as 30 deputies. They are conducting a grid search of a 10-acre area to search for any other possible evidence.
The area where the remains were discovered "has been under water but dried up recently with lack of rain," Justino explained.
The sheriff's office checked the missing persons cases in the region but it turned up no results. Police are now using dental records to try to identify the remains.
"If you do it through dental, you need to know who you're comparing it to," said Sgt. Mary Cotchaleovitch, CCSO homicide investigator, talking about the challenges of making an identification.
Police have ruled the case a death investigation and not a homicide investigation at this time. The detectives are following up on leads after finding the clothing and additional remains in the woods, not in the cleared vacant lot.
Detectives are expected to be on scene at the field through Tuesday. It is still unclear whether the remains are male or female.
Pam Hinson, who lives in Fleming Island, was surprised to learn of skeletal remains being found.
"You don't see that sort of thing around here very often," Hinson said.
First Coast News