Bones from 1977 death investigation ID'd, deputies say

Mark D. Woodard remains ID'd nearly 40 years later

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Marion County Sheriff’s Office major crimes detectives have received positive DNA identification on an unidentified set of human remains.

The bones were found in a wooded area near County Road 467 and SE 145th Street in Summerfield on March 22, 1977.

In 2009, Dr. Barbara Wolf from the Fifth District Medical Examiner’s Office and Dr. Michael Warren from the University of Florida CA Pound Lab sent a bone from the remains to the University of North Texas for DNA samples to be extracted and placed in the missing persons database.

No matches were found in the system at that time.

In 2015, while reviewing their missing persons cases, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reviewed Mark D. Woodard’s case and sent his parents DNA to UNT.

UNT received forensic DNA analysis on June 23 of this year confirming the bones are 4.3 trillion times likely to be a positive match to the DNA samples that Woodard’s parents submitted.

Woodard’s death is still under investigation by MCSO and PCSO.

If you have any information on the death of Woodard, please contact Lt. Donnie Winston at 352-369-6831 or to remain anonymous, contact the Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP.

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