Wakulla County, FL -- June 6, 2012 ---
A badly burned body... Found a month ago in the Apalachicola National Forest... Has now been identified as that of a Southwest Florida man.
84 year old Tony Delacey was found in a remote part of the woods... His body and vehicle destroyed by flames. The man's family says they knew all along it was him.
Neighbor Phillip Briguglio says, "He always had a smile. Good guy, good guy."
He says he knew Tony Delacey as a neighbor for 2 years... He and others never thought the 84-year-old's roadtrip would end like this.
Family members say the retired Lee County deputy hit the road, determined to visit an injured relative in Alabama.
He never made it back to his Bokeelia home. The afternoon of April 27th... A fire was reported in a remote part of the Apalachicola National Forest. First responders arriving on scene discovered a badly burned vehicle... And a man's body. The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office says the condition was so poor... It wasn't immediately identifiable.
Then... Wednesday.. results came back... And confirmed, it was indeed Delacey. What happened shouldn't have happened.
Family says it's a relief to finally know what happened him... Although questions surrounding his death are still unanswered.
Detectives are still working to piece together how Delacey ended up ten miles off a main county road... And how he died. The Sheriff's office says while the death is "unusual"... It is not considered suspicious.
The Sheriff's Office is not releasing any more information as the investigation is ongoing. Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.
Crawfordville, FL -- June 6, 2012--
A severely burned body was found in the Apalachicola National Forest found on April 27th. Deputies have identified the deceased.
Tony Delacey, an 84-year-old man from Bokeelia, Florida was identified as the deceased. Wakulla Co. deputies tell Eyewitness News that Delacey was visiting family in Ft. Myers and was heading to Alabama.
There are no suspects at this time.
Crawfordville, Fl --May 31, 2012--
It's been more than a month since a severely burned body was found in the Apalachicola National Forest and deputies still haven't released an ID.
The body was found back on April 27th. The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said they are still waiting on official results from the coroner's office. The coroner's office did not want to comment as to why it is taking so long to make a positive identification.
Crawfordville, Fl --May 13, 2012--
Walkulla County Deputies hope to identify a man's remains that were found inside the Apalachicola National Forest within the next few days.
The body was discovered in the forest last month. It was next to a car that had caught fire deep in the forest.
At this time, deputies are treating the man's death as suspicious.
Crawfordville, FL--April 30, 2012 - Noon
Deputies release new information about a body found in the Apalachicola National Forest. A man's body was found inside a burned car on Friday. The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office put out a new press release just about an hour ago with an update on a burned body found on Friday.
According to the Sheriff's office, a fire was spotted by a U.S. Forest Service helicopter almost 10 miles North of Arran Road in Crawfordville. Shortly before 4 pm, a severely burned male body was discovered near what the sheriff's office says was a completely destroyed vehicle.
Eyewitness News spoke with Wakulla County Sheriff's Office officials, but they say they won't be commenting further until they identify the body.
Crawfordville, FL--April 30, 2012
Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office detectives continue to investigate an unusual death reported Friday, April 27 in the Apalachicola National Forest, according to Sheriff Donnie Crum.
A U.S. Forest Service helicopter pilot observed smoke in the forest at 3:15 p.m. and contacted firefighters to contain the blaze. Shortly before 4:15 p.m., a severely burned body was observed near the vehicle and law enforcement was contacted. Firefighters and law enforcement officials arrived on the scene and found a badly burned vehicle and the remains of a male.
Detectives are continuing their investigation into the death. Due to the condition of the body, the cause of death and the identity of the man have not been determined.
The fire began as a half acre blaze before growing larger. Firefighters got the blaze under control later during the day Friday.
The vehicle, which was completely destroyed, was found at a remote location of the national forest eight to 10 miles north of Arran Road in Crawfordville. Detectives are creating a timeline of activities leading up to the fire and are combining physical evidence from the scene to help them positively identify the body.
The original case was investigated by Deputy Nick Gray, Detective Rob Giddens, Lt. Mike Kemp, Sgt. Fred Nichols, Captain Chris Savary, Lt. C.L. Morrison, Detective Lorne Whaley, Major Shepard Bruner and Undersheriff Maurice Langston of the WCSO as well as the U.S. Forest Service, state Fire Marshal, Florida Forest Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime scene unit.
Crawfordville, FL--April 28, 2012
Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suspicious death reported Friday, April 27 in the Apalachicola National Forest, according to Sheriff Donnie Crum.
Shortly after 4 p.m., a U.S. Forest Service helicopter spotted smoke at eight to ten miles north of Arran Road in Crawfordville. Firefighters responded to a location near Forest Road 313 and Government Road and determined that a vehicle was on fire within the smoke area. Firefighters created a buffer to keep the fire from spreading into the forest.
The body of an older male was recovered at the scene. The Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and the WCSO is still waiting for the results to determine a preliminary cause of death. No additional details will be released at this time.
The WCSO was assisted at the scene by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, state Fire Marshal, Wakulla firefighters, U.S. Forest Service and state Division of Forestry investigators.