Tuesday, September 25, 2012
For Immediate Release
September 25, 2012
Skeletal Remains Located in Keystone Heights, Clay County
Preliminary investigative results indicate that skeletal remains located in a wooded area of Keystone Heights off CR 352 are those of missing Keystone Heights teenager Zachary Cooper. While an exact identification will be made by the Medical Examiner in Jacksonville using dental records and/or DNA analysis, evidence collected at the scene of the located skeletal remains leads detectives to believe it is Cooper (date of birth 8/21/93). The cause of death is unknown/undetermined.
Zachary Cooper was reported missing by his father in April 2009. Zachary Cooper was familiar with the CR 352 area of Keystone.
On Sunday afternoon (9/23/12) the new owners of a property located at 6304 CR 352 in Keystone Heights spotted the skeletal remains while out walking the wooded area of their new property. They contacted law enforcement who responded to the site and recovered the remains and related evidence. *The property owners asked us to communicate to members of the media that they are not interested in speaking publicly about the discovery and they are not permitting media on their private property for video/photography purposes.
In addition, the family of Zachary Cooper has been notified. They have also expressed that they do not wish to discuss the potential discovery of their son's remains publicly at this time. The CCSO detectives involved in the case are not available to speak to reporters today (due to pending M-E identification and cause of death determination which may take several days.) Because the cause of death is unknown until the medical examiner renders an opinion, our agency will not speculate about the possibility of foul play being involved versus suicide, accidental death, etc.