Positive DNA Tests Open Investigation

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

It was behind the tall trees last September that several hunters found human bones off the beaten path, scattered throughout a two-mile area.

It's taken almost seven months, but Gulf County sheriff's investigators now know for sure the bones belonged to 19-year-old Justin Curcie.

That confirms what authorities believed all along, that it was Curcie's body.

Dalton Upchurch, Gulf County Sheriff, says, "We believed it was human, but this gives us a definite starting point. Before we were operating like it was him, but you can’t be too aggressive, but with this latest information we've got a definite starting point."

Late last week the medical examiner’s office came back with the positive ID which took several months longer than usual.

It usually takes six weeks for medical examiners to report back findings. In this case it took six months. Medical examiners blamed a recent move and the holiday period for the delay.

Now that the ball is rolling, investigators say things should move quickly.

Inv. Paul Beasley says, "I'll go through witness statements, anything we may have missed, anything we haven’t done yet that needs to be done."

Investigators say they uncovered enough evidence to know Curcie was the victim of a violent attack. They haven't arrested anyone, but they are following several leads they hope will bring Justin's killers to justice.

If you have any information on Justin Curcie's murder, you can call 227-1115 or 785-TIPS.

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