TAMPA — Hillsborough sheriff's deputies say they think they know the identity of the person whose bones were found by a dog walker at a Brandon construction site.
Deputies say the bones likely belong to Joel Patrick Smith, 41, of 1523 Grand Isle Drive in Brandon. According to a Web database on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System site, Smith walked out after a family dispute on Nov. 10, 2011, and was never seen again. At the construction site, deputies moved 372 cubic yards of dirt and discovered nine human bones, which must undergo DNA testing before a final identification is made, sheriff's officials said. But they also found Smith's clothing, a tennis shoe and his cellphone, leading them to believe Smith is linked to the bones.
On Friday, deputies contacted Smith's family to share the results of their preliminary investigation. Smith was reported missing and endangered in November 2011, deputies said.
A person who was walking a dog on Dec. 15 called police after the dog found a human femur at a construction site in a field off of Providence Lakes Boulevard, south of Lumsden Road in Brandon. Developers plan to build townhouses on the site.