Who was Nyeisha Nelson? Missing Florida mom's remains found in shallow grave after days in suspected homocide
PUTNAM COUNTY, FLORIDA: Human remains found on Saturday, February 20, by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, buried in a wooded area are now identified to be of a Florida mom, who was last seen on February 11, 2021. Authorities have now regarded it as a homicide.
"The investigation does suggest the likelihood that she knew the offender," Putnam County Sheriff's Office Col Joseph Wells said at a news conference on Tuesday, February 23. "This was not a random act of stranger-on-stranger violence. But the exact motive is not known."
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The family of the identified victim, 20-year-old self-employed hairdresser Nyeisha Nelson, reported her missing after not hearing from her for several days. Nelson took her five-year-old daughter to school on February 11, 2021, and deputies said a neighbor saw Nelson in the yard of her Crescent City home that day before she left in her 2008 gray Honda Accord carrying a purse and dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, reports News4Jax.
According to her family, Nelson normally checks in several times a day, but no one had heard from her since then. On Thursday, February 18, authorities located Nelson's abandoned car in a wooded area about five miles from where her remains would later be discovered in what was described as a shallow grave near a Crescent City farm, reports First Coast News. The medical examiner confirmed her identity using the victim's fingerprints and ruled her death a homicide, but Wells did not reveal how Nelson was killed.
Investigators were initially hesitant to announce the body as Nelson’s, but fingerprints confirmed their suspicions, Wells added. "I can tell you that the medical examiner wasn't able to give us an exact time of death," he said. "It is possible that her death occurred shortly after her disappearance, but again, they were unable to narrow that down exactly." Investigators consider the car a key piece of evidence.
"Not so much the car — we have it — but who was driving that car around or after Feb 11," Wells said. "Everybody that knew her or potentially would have had any contact with her at that time period, we want to talk to at this point," he said. "It has certainly not gotten to the point where we can identify whether the suspect is even male or female or who we're looking for at this time."
The sheriff's office asked anyone who might have seen the victim's gray Honda Accord between February 11 and February. 18 to call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-277-8477.