KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced they are seeking the public’s help in identifying a possible witness connected to the 1995 murder of Kissimmee resident Maria Telles-Gonzalez.
Her body was recovered in South Carolina but it is believed the murderer killed Telles-Gonzalez in Florida, then transported her body to Yemassee, South Carolina.
Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina identified the victim as 36-year-old Maria Telles-Gonzalez.
At the time of her death, Telles-Gonzalez was 36 years old and a wife and mother of three.
Investigators said when she was found, she didn’t have any possessions on her like a wallet to help point to her identity. On top of that, no one had reported her missing for nearly 30 years.
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy Sheriff Investigator Bob Bromage said he’s never given up on identifying Maria Telles-Gonzalez, the murdered Jane Doe found in a drainage ditch in Yemassee, South Carolina, on May 24, 1995.
He said she was at their family home the day after she got back from a trip to Puerto Rico. Her kids went to school, leaving her at home alone with her husband. When her children got home from school, their mother was gone.
“She was only wearing underwear at the time (she was found),” Bromage said. “There were no other identifiers other than she had a hysterectomy scar and a thyroid scar from surgeries. No jewelry, no identification, no other clothing.”
Bromage said Telles-Gonzalez’s death was ruled a homicide with the cause of death being strangulation. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spent years matching her DNA to hundreds and hundreds of missing women. None were a match.
Investigators said they were finally able to identify Telles-Gonzalez through advanced DNA technology and genealogy research in December of 2022.
According to a news release, new leads identified a possible witness known only as Carlos, who may have been an Orlando area resident.
Investigators are asking the public to review 1995 photographs of Carlos, as well as age-progression images, and provide any information on his identity.
He is described as being a Hispanic male standing between 5 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet, 10 inches tall. People familiar with Carlos reported he “spoke Spanish and very good English,” according to the release.
More information about the case can be found by clicking on the video located here.
If you have information about the murder of Maria Telles-Gonzalez or the identification or whereabouts of Carlos, please contact Beaufort County cold case investigator Bob Bromage at 843-816-8013 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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