The body of a Florida woman was found by deputies in a septic tank buried in her backyard, and her handyman has been charged with killing her, authorities said Saturday.
Investigators in Jensen Beach, Florida found a body believed to be that of Cynthia Cole, submerged in the septic tank 4 feet underground after hours of excavating her back yard late Friday, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
Shortly after finding the body, deputies arrested her handyman, Keoki Hilo Demich, who was charged with second-degree murder. Cole, 57, had been missing for more than a week.
No further details were provided. Jensen Beach is almost 50 miles north of West Palm Beach.
“There are elements to this case still being investigated,” the post said. “Positive identification of the body by the medical examiner’s office is expected shortly, however, detectives have every reason to believe it is that of Ms. Cole. We will update the community with additional information as it becomes available.”
There was no online court record available for Demich, so it was unknown if he had an attorney.
The sheriff’s office said Coles was last seen wearing an orange shirt on February 24 at an event in Downtown Jensen Beach. Cole’s friends told WPEC-TV they knew something was wrong when they didn’t hear from Cole after the event.
“She doesn’t drink. She doesn’t do any of that, so we were all like she is missing or something is really wrong,” said Victoria Boyd, a longtime friend.
Friends told the station Cole was a loving mother and vibrant friend.
“She was one of those people,” Boyd said. “You couldn’t meet her and not love her.”
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