Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bones left at scene of apparent suicide near Brookridge prompt investigation

BROOKSVILLE — The case of the human remains found near Brookridge last week seemed to go like a textbook might suggest it should.

Investigators with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office and 5th District Medical Examiner's Office responded, investigated and collected the bones. The preliminary findings: 20-year-old Brian Adam Gilley, missing since January, committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree.

There was a problem, though. Investigators apparently left some of Gilley's bones at the scene.

Now authorities with both agencies are trying to figure out how it happened.

"It's unacceptable," Hernando Chief Deputy Michael Maurer said Wednesday. "It's just not the way we do business, and we want to know why it happened and make sure it never happens again."

Maurer said there was a breakdown in protocol between his agency and the Medical Examiner's Office.

"There's stopgaps and checks and balances, and what we don't understand yet is how that perfect storm came together and this happened," he said. "It defies logic for me."

He said he didn't know Wednesday if the bones — a hand and forearm — were missed during the initial investigation or were simply left behind.

But it doesn't seem plausible that they were missed, Maurer said, because they were found in the immediate vicinity of the rest of the remains.

Deputies initially responded to the area about 6:30 p.m. March 13 after a passerby discovered the remains in a low-lying stand of trees between a concrete retaining wall and the white privacy fence that lines the southern edge of Brookridge.

Forensics technicians investigated, and the medical examiner arrived about 9:30 p.m. and took the remains to establish the person's identity.

On Tuesday, a representative from a local news blog went to the scene, discovered the bones and called the Sheriff's Office. Investigators returned and collected them.

Making sure the remains were removed from a scene during the first visit is the responsibility of both agencies, Maurer said.

He spoke Wednesday with Dr. Barbara Wolf, medical examiner for the 5th District, who is conducting her own investigation.

Messages left by the Times at Wolf's office in Leesburg were not returned.

The Sheriff's Office internal inquiry could result in disciplinary action up to dismissal, Maurer said.

A Maryland native, Gilley moved in December to his stepfather Wayne Gilley's home in Brookridge.

Brian worked in the deli at the Walmart store on Cortez Boulevard. He was well liked and loved playing the acoustic guitar, Wayne Gilley said.

"I didn't see any signs he wasn't happy here," he said.

Then Brian disappeared, and Wayne Gilley found a suicide note. He filed a missing person report with the Sheriff's Office on Jan. 18, but feared the worst.

"I tried to prepare myself for the day they'd come to knock on the door, but you can't prepare yourself for that," he said.

Wayne Gilley said the news that some of Brian's remains were left behind upset him.

"But the worst part was knowing he's gone," he said.

Brian's remains will be cremated and laid to rest next week in Rising Sun, Md., a small town between the Chesapeake Bay and the Pennsylvania border.

Reach Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes and @hernandotimes on Twitter.

Bones left at scene of apparent suicide near Brookridge prompt investigation 03/20/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  2. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  3. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico

    World

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  4. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'

    World

    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

  5. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack

    News

    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.