The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has identified the body of a woman found in a shallow grave in 2007 as Jeana Lynn Burrus. She was never reported missing by her family, and her whereabouts had not been questioned. The sheriff’s office is now seeking information about Jeana, her husband, and the circumstances surrounding her death. Those with information are urged to call 941-861-4900. Irene Wright reported
A perplexing case that has remained unsolved for 16 years has recently been given a breakthrough as authorities have identified a Jane Doe as a Florida mother. Strangely, she was never reported missing. In February 2007, the remains of a human body were discovered in a wooded area near a residential neighborhood in Sarasota. The body, lying on its side in a shallow grave, was found by a teenager. Lieutenant Skip Wood from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office described the location as an atypical area for a homicide, suggesting that efforts had been made to conceal the presence of the body. Medical examiners later determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma. The victim was identified as a white woman aged between 30 and 40, who had been buried for at least seven months prior to the discovery.
In a surprising turn of events, advancements in genetic technology in 2022 allowed the sheriff’s office to collaborate with DNA Labs International Inc. to create a genetic profile of the victim. This breakthrough led to the identification of the woman as Jeana Lynn Burrus, who was 39 years old at the time of her death. Burrus had been living with her husband James and their son in Sarasota, a mere few miles away from where her body was found. Her husband worked at a local body shop, and their son attended the nearby elementary school. The investigation into Burrus’ death was further complicated by the fact that her family never reported her missing, nor did anyone question her whereabouts.
The sheriff’s office has been conducting searches related to the case, including the previous residence of the Burrus family and the body shop where James worked. However, no substantial evidence has been found so far. James Burrus abruptly left Sarasota and relocated to California, before moving back to Maryland. Detectives noted inconsistencies in James’ statements during their interviews with him. Additionally, their son informed investigators that he had been told his mother had abandoned the family. Now, the sheriff’s office is appealing to the public for any information regarding Jeana, her husband, or the circumstances surrounding her death. Anyone with relevant information can contact 941-861-4900.
Sarasota, located approximately 60 miles south of Tampa, continues to grapple with this mysterious case..