Missing Florida woman found dead in septic tank of her home, deputies say

Sheriff’s office says Keoki Hilo Demich charged with 2nd-degree murder

Cynthia Cole (Martin County Sheriff's Office)

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida woman who was reported missing was found dead in a septic tank at her home in Jensen Beach, according to deputies.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said 34-year-old Keoki Hilo Demich was charged with second-degree murder Friday in the death of Cynthia Cole.

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Detectives excavate backyard of missing Florida woman (Martin County Sheriff's Office)

Detectives excavated the woman’s backyard Friday and found her body “submerged in the contents of the tank about 4 feet underground,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said Demich performed handyman duties for the woman.

Keoki Hilo Demich (Martin County Sheriff's Office)

The sheriff’s office posted on Wednesday that deputies were searching for Cole, 57. Deputies said she had last been seen on Feb. 24 at an event in downtown Jensen Beach.

Cole’s body has not yet been identified by the medical examiner, but deputies said they have “every reason to believe” it is her.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.