Four-Year Mystery Is Solved in Taylor County

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A four-year-old mystery is now solved in Taylor County. Authorities have made a positive ID of skeletal remains found in the woods near Tennille, and they also know what happened.

This story was a mystery for some time. Here you have a set of skeletal remains and no one seemed to know when or how they got there, but after four years and with the help of other agencies, this chapter in Taylor County's history is now closed.

Back in August of 2000, a group of hunters stumbled across skeletal remains in the town of Tennille in south Taylor County. Authorities had some leads, but nothing hard to go on.

LT Ron Rice of the Taylor County Sheriff's Office says, "Basically, a generic white male with a wide range of height and weight parameters, and when I ran the most recent time through the National Crime Information Center, I came back with 15,800 possibilities, and yea, that's a brick wall."

Authorities now know the remains are of Larry Fishman, a former resident of New York. This discovery was made with the help of Fishman's DNA and from the crafty artistry of someone trained in reconstructing images from skeletal remains.

Ron adds, "When I made contact with the missing person's brother, and he sent me the missing person's flyer, I saw the picture and the resemblance was just stunning. It looked just like him to me."

Those who remember the case have mixed reaction.

Betty Joiner, a Taylor County resident, says, "I was concerned because you feel that there is a lot of loneliness when a person goes that far and prepares himself, as well as he prepared to leave."

Efren Torres, another Taylor county resident, adds, “It's a close knit community and around here, you step out of the house and people wave hello and good bye to us, and that's what attracted us to Perry. And now to hear something like that, it hurts you."

And with all of the evidence in, including fragments of a note, it's been determined Fishman lost his life by his own hand.

This case is a big one for the Sheriff's Office in Taylor County. LT Rice says this case sets a precedent, and with the knowledge they have now, they'll be able to solve these types of cases quicker in the future.