ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Skeletal remains that were found in the southwest part of St. Johns County in February have been positively identified through DNA testing as Leigh Hobart Abel Jr.
The remains were tentatively identified as Abel in August. Abel's death was ruled a homicide by District Medical Examiner Dr. Bulic after being positively identified, according to a release from St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Kevin Kelshaw.
SJSO employees purchased a marker near McCullough Creek, where Abel's remains were found, to generate leads, Kelshaw said.
In 1989, Abel and his wife of 56 years Margaret moved to Orange City, Fla.
The day Abel was reported missing, he went fishing at the Canaveral National Seashore Park, a place he frequented many times before, Kelshaw said.
Abel never returned from the fishing trip and no sign of him surfaced until a year after his disappearance when his 1999 GMC Suburban was found in Boca Raton.
When authorities got to the abandoned SUV, there was no evidence left for them to collect, Kelshaw said.
When he disappeared, Abel was wearing a blue sweatshirt, blue shorts, a yellow gold colored wedding band, dentures and a tan polo shirt. The clothing description matched the clothing located with the remains found in St. Johns County.
Also found with the remains, Kelshaw said, was a GMC ignition key.
Detectives located Abel's SUV in Miami Gardens earlier in 2012 and used the key that was found to successfully start the vehicle, Kelshaw said.
First Coast News