PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fort Myers Police Host Event To Search For Leads To Identify Fort Myers Five

Fort Myers Police Department.
Digital facial reconstructions of the Fort Myers Five released by Fort Myers Police Department in March 2019.

The Fort Myers Police Department partnered with other law enforcement agencies and national missing person's organizations to host Lee County’s first Missing Person’s Day this past weekend. 

The eventmodeled after similar events hosted throughout the statewas spurred to help identify the remains of several men who were discovered in Fort Myers twelve years ago. 

In 2007, eight sets of skeletons were found off of Arcadia Street in Fort Myers. More than a decade later, five of those skeletons remain unidentified.

Fort Myers Police Department Cold Case Homicide Unit investigator Matt Alberto said the unidentified remains may belong to people from other parts of the country. 

“There’s a possibility that they wandered down to this area and something happened to them here and their family back home, it could be up north, it could be in the west, it could be anywhere and they just don’t know," Alberto said. "And up there, the person is listed as missing.”

Alberto said the FMPD has been working with the University of North Texas since 2008. The university takes DNA samples of unidentified remains submitted by law enforcement agencies across the country and compares them to samples of living people searching for loved ones. 

“What we’re trying to work up right now is to take our unidentified deceased and get them out nationally to see if other communities, other states, might have somebody that sees their picture or sees the profile of our victims and goes ‘Wait a minute. That might be my family member,'"Alberto said.

This past  March, FMPD released digital facial reconstructions of the five unidentified men, known as the Fort Myers Five.  Alberto said he hopes the images will help to jog someone's memory.

"Our goal is to identify all of these men," Alberto said.   

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.
Related Content
  1. Fort Myers Police To Host Missing Person's Day
  2. Fort Myers Police Department Touts Downward Trends in Crime Rates
  3. FMPD Releases New Artwork for 12-Year-Old Cold Case