Bones of murder suspect found in Duette Preserve

DUETTE, Fla. - The bones of a man suspected of killing a 42-year-old single mother of five were found in a wooded area of Duette Preserve on Thursday.  The woman was fatally shot in August while working at a nearby orange grove.

The bones and some personal items of Joel Ramirez were found by park rangers in the preserve located in eastern Manatee County.

Ramirez, who would have been 32 years old, was a person of interest in the case of the shooting death of Maria Moralez.  She was found dead after she failed to return to the company barn at her usual time.  A co-worker discovered her body in a tractor and called police.

Detectives believe Ramirez shot Moralez and then walked to the preserve and took his own life.  

Detectives have been searching for Ramirez since the shooting but he had not been seen or heard from. DNA tests will be conducted to make a positive identification of Ramirez.

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