‘Two feet sticking up out of the ground’: Human remains discovered in backyard


Human remains were found in a backyard in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. (Screenshots from WJXT/YouTube)

Human remains were found in a backyard in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. (Screenshots from WJXT/YouTube)

Homicide investigators this week are searching for clues into the death of a person after a homeowner doing renovations at a Florida rental found two feet sticking out of the ground in the backyard.

The investigation was launched on Wednesday night. Authorities responded at 6:48 p.m. to the home in the 5600 block of Sunny Acres Drive East, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.

In a terse and redacted report about the incident, a deputy wrote three lines, noting, “I observed two feet sticking up out of the ground.” The officer notified higher-ups, the scene was secured overnight, and detectives were at the home as the remains were extricated, authorities said in a news release. The sheriff’s office provided few details about the discovery, saying the Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the manner of death, officials said.

Local affiliate WJXT reported that a Florida Gulf Coast University forensics team worked alongside sheriff’s detectives for hours under blue tents.

A woman who was working in the home told the station the homeowner found the remains and told her to call 911.

“We were working inside the house, and then the owner came to us and said, ‘Hey, there is something here. We have to call 911.’ I said, ‘OK,’” the woman told the station. “I was shook.”

She described the remains, which she took photos of, to a WJXT reporter: “They were all black and stuff. But I guess that was from decomposing. I just hope that everything gets solved. My reaction to this is just craziness. I would never expect this, especially at a house that I am working at.”

The homeowner, who also didn’t want to be identified, said he and his son were installing new windows, a kitchen, and a bathroom to prepare for the next homeowner.

“I want to offer my condolences to the young person or to the person they found at my property,” the homeowner said, the station reported. “No family at all should have to go through that at all. That’s the first thing I want to say. No family should have to go through that. I don’t know who that is. I don’t know what the situation is.”

Neighbors were shocked.

“This is a quiet neighborhood, so this is something that rarely happens,” Womack said. “I still feel safe here, and we all know each other, and we’re like family. That’s a hurtful feeling, having someone that’s lost and you don’t even know what’s going on with them. I’m praying for the family.”



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