Unsolved Crimes


If you have any information concerning any of these cases, please contact Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations at (941) 861-4900. To leave an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at (941) 366-TIPS (8477), or submit information online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com, or text TIP109 then a message to CRIMES (274637).

On April 7, 1992 the body of Cindy Rogers was discovered in a plastic garbage can floating in the pool at 4580 Gallup Ave. Cindy’s death was a result of a homicide. She was last seen a year earlier at the residence on Gallup where she had been residing. Cindy was reportedly in the process of moving out. Forensic examination revealed Cindy had been deceased for a long period of time and her body had only recently been placed into the pool.

On December 1, 1999 the body of Esco Hunter was discovered in a field near the railroad tracks in the area of 44th St. and Central Ave. Esco’s death has been ruled a homicide. Esco’s 1998 maroon van was found at the dead-end of Orange Avenue north of Myrtle St. The van had been burned as a result of arson. Esco was from the Miami area and was involved with rap music.

image005 - CopyJEANA LYNN BURRUS 
On February 6th, 2007, the skeletal remains of a female were discovered buried in a shallow grave in a wooded area of Ashton Ct. in Sarasota. The case remained cold until November 2022, when the SCSO, working in conjunction with DNA Labs International Inc., utilized current advancements in DNA testing and genetic genealogy to make a positive identification. The victim was identified as 39-year-old Jeana Lynn Burrus. The investigation into Jeana’s death was further complicated as she was never reported missing by her family, and her whereabouts had not been questioned.

On October 29, 1989 the body of Jennifer Hunter was discovered in a parking lot of the industrial area at 2060 61st St. Jennifer’s death was a result of a homicide. Jennifer was last seen the previous evening. Jennifer had a history of prostitution and was known to frequent the area of U.S. Highway 301 and U.S. Highway 41. Jennifer is believed to have used the industrial area to consummate her prostitution activities.

On April 6, 1993 Jim Thompson was working security at the Club Mary Strip Bar (currently known as Cheetah’s) when he was confronted by three black males in the parking lot area. Thompson was shot and killed by one of the subjects in what is believed to have been a robbery attempt. In the weeks leading up to the homicide, several robberies of restaurants and grocery stores had occurred in the Sarasota/Manatee area. It is believed this incident may be related to that string of robberies.

On February 27, 1992 the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the disappearance of Julie King. Julie had moved to Sarasota from the Philippines and was reported missing by her parents who still resided overseas. Julie had been living here with her husband, Lance King, at 1001 Cronley Place. Lance King related to investigators his last contact with Julie was in August of 1991, however he never reported Julie missing.

On October 23, 1982 the body of Lisa Schaffner was discovered in a field located at 2301 North Tuttle Ave. Lisa’s death was a result of a homicide. The area in which Lisa was located was known for prostitution activities.

On September 12, 1989 the body of Lucinda McClean was discovered in a drainage ditch along Fruitville Rd. east of I-75. Lucinda’s death was the result of a homicide. Lucinda was last seen outside the Animal Clinic Bar on Swift Rd. on August 24, 1989.

On November 10, 1973 the body of Mary Jo Shelleby was discovered in the roadway on McIntosh Rd. just south of Clark Rd. Mary Jo’s death was a result of a homicide. Mary Jo was attending Manatee Junior College at the time and was known to “hitch-hike” as a means of traveling. The investigation indicates possibly more than one person was involved in Mary Jo’s death.


On November 15, 1998 Sarasota County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the residence of Paul Colicci at 4239 Balmoral Way. Neighbors had located Paul deceased in the garage area of the home. Paul’s death was ruled a homicide. A witness reports that at approximately 10:00 p.m. the previous night he heard loud voices coming from the garage area.


On February 20, 2003 the body of Zanniel Leverett was discovered approximately 200 yards north of the intersection of 46th St. and Central Ave in a field along the railroad tracks. Zanniel had last been seen in the first week of February. Zanniel had a history of using and selling drugs. Zanniel’s death was ruled a homicide.