Family Notified of Bones Found at Brandon Construction Site

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports a preliminary identification in the case of human bones found at a Brandon construction site. A tennis shoe and cell phone also were found. The phone reportedly belonged to a man missing since late 2


The family of Joel Patrick Smith of Brandon, reported missing and endangered in November 2011, has been notified of the grisly find of human bones at a townhome construction site off Providence Lakes Boulevard, just south of Causeway Boulevard, according to a report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

In all, nine human bones have been discovered at the site, with a preliminary identification determined "based on other personal items recovered at the scene," according to the Dec. 21 report.

Among the items reportedly recovered were clothing, a tennis shoe and a cell phone that belonged to Smith, 51, of 1523 Grand Isle Drive in Brandon, which is near the construction site. 

Deputies notified Smith's family of the discovery, but DNA lab tests from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement "still must officially confirm Mr. Smith's identity," according to the report.

The investigation got under way after citizens walking a dog in the field Dec. 15 found a human bone. At the time, all the sheriff's office could confirm was that the bone was "a human femur."

Since then, the site had been secured for an extensive dig investigation, aided with support from members of the University of South Florida anthropology department and the Hillsborough County maintenance department.

"More than 1,000 sheriff's office hours were logged on the dig, which began less
than a week ago, as investigators combed through more than 372 cubic yards of
dirt," according to the sheriff's Dec. 21 report.

jeffrey smith December 25, 2012 at 06:34 AM
how is it that the press knew about my brothers clothing and cell phone before for his immediate family? Here I sit Christmas eve. Reading about my brother while I am in South Carolina? I think as a resident of Hillsborough we may have been given a little more professional courtisy to notify family living in Hillsborough prior to notifying the press. My prayers are with my family Joel's wife and two children.


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