Officials with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office say that the man whose wife’s bones were found in 2007 is now a person of interest in the case.

Anyone who knows the victim, Jeana Burrus, or her husband, James Burrus, should contact the sheriff’s office. Jeana’s bones were found in 2007 and have been positively identified as hers.

She was was never reported missing.

The bones of a woman were found in a shallow grave in a wooded area of Ashton Court in Sarasota on February 6, 2007. The investigation into what happened to the person who died was put on hold until November 2022. That’s when the sheriff’s office started working with DNA Labs International Inc. to use the latest developments in DNA testing and genetic genealogy to be sure who Jeana was.

It was found that Jeana Lynn Burrus was 39 years old when she died. She lived with her husband and son, James Burrus Jr., in the 6200 block of Pauline Avenue in Sarasota. Jeana didn’t have a job. Her husband worked at a body shop in Sarasota on the 5600 block of Sarah Avenue. During the school years of 2005 and 2006, her son went to Gulf Gate Elementary School.

Investigators told ABC7 that every time they talk to James Burrus, he gives a different version of what happened. They also say that the couple’s son, James Burrus Jr., came forward to say that his mother had left him and his family.

The investigation into Jeana’s death was made harder by the fact that her family had never said she was missing and had never asked where she was. Before moving to Sarasota County, the couple lived in Citrus County, Florida, and Frederick, Maryland. James Burrus Sr. and his family moved from Sarasota to California and then back to Maryland, where he lives now.

“We know that he moved quickly from Sarasota to California. He was there for a short time, and we think a crime stoppers report about this case was sent to the media around that time. Then he suddenly left California and went back to Maryland,” said Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mark Lefebvre.

The SCSO is asking anyone who may have known either Jeana or James Burrus or has information regarding her death to contact SCSO Detective Brian Ng at 941.861.4900.

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