36-year-old found dead in South Carolina in 1995 ID’d as Florida woman

Maria Telles-Gonzalez was from Kissimmee, deputies say

Maria Telles-Gonzalez (Beaufort County Sheriff's Office)

YEMASSEE, S.C. – A 36-year-old found dead in South Carolina in May 1995 has been identified as a Kissimmee woman.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said advanced DNA technology helped determine a murder victim found in a drainage ditch on May 24, 1995, in Yemassee, South Carolina, was Maria Telles-Gonzalez.

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The sheriff’s office said the woman was found by a South Carolina Highway Department employee.

A cold case investigation began in 1999, after efforts to identify her after she was found were unsuccessful.

In October 2022, a DNA profile was received and a parent-child match was made, helping to identify the woman as Telles-Gonzalez.

The sheriff’s office said her family members said the 36-year-old was last seen at her Kissimmee home and she left in May 1995 after her three children went to school. The day before she left, deputies said she had just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico.

The sheriff’s office said she was never reported missing.

Officials said they are trying to identify two people who were connected to Telles-Gonzalez, a close friend who may be named Patricia and a man who may have been a boyfriend. Deputies said they believe the two also lived in the Kissimmee area.

Both individuals are pictured below:

Friend of Maria Telles-Gonzalez (Beaufort County Sheriff's Office)
Suspected boyfriend of Maria Telles-Gonzalez (Beaufort County Sheriff's Office)

Anyone with information is asked to call Bob Bromage at 843-816-8013.

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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.