Handyman charged with murder in connection to woman's corpse found in backyard septic tank

According to Florida officials, the body may be Cynthia Cole who was last seen on February 24th. 

Handyman charged with murder in connection to woman's corpse found in backyard septic tank

Keoki Hilo Demich was her handyman and was charged with second-degree murder.

Officials announced that a body believed to belong to a Florida woman who was missing was discovered in her home's sewage tank. Her handyman was also charged with murder.

According to the Martin County Sheriff's Office, Cynthia Cole, 57 was last seen February 24, at the Jammin' Jensen festival in downtown Jensen Beach.

Martin County sheriff's officers discovered a body believed to belong to her in the Jensen Beach septic tank late Friday night into Saturday morning, according to a news release.


According to the release, authorities excavated Cole’s backyard for hours, and discovered that the body was "submerged in the tank about 4 feet underground."

Detectives located Keoki Hilo DeMich, 34, shortly afterward. He was a handyman who worked under Cole and was arrested for second-degree murder.

William Snyder, Martin County Sheriff, told NBC News affiliate WPTV West Palm Beach on Friday that Cole's car was found by investigators within walking distance of Demich's house. Surveillance footage also showed him leaving Cole's car that night.

Cole's home was searched by detectives over the weekend. One of them noticed that the cover to the septic tanks didn't look right, prompting the sheriff to order a search.

The motive of the crime is not immediately apparent.

"I've been doing it for 40+ years. Snyder stated that Snyder has never seen anything similar.

The medical examiner's office "is expecting shortly" to identify the body, but authorities "have every reason for believing it is Ms. Cole." The sheriff's office stated that elements of the case are still under investigation.

Demich is still in custody. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday, according to the sheriff's Office. An autopsy is also planned for Monday.

Online information regarding Demich's case and his lawyer were not immediately available.

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