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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Remains identified as those of missing Gainesville woman

A year-long search for a missing Gainesville woman ended Monday when her remains were identified.

Human skeletal remains found in the woods off Newberry Road last week were identified as those of Juliann Spates, said Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Todd Kelly.

Detectives identified Spates by a partial handprint from the remains, he said.

Spates, who would be 53 years old, was reported missing by her daughter in January 2011. Spates was last seen in November 2010.

The remains were found the night of Feb. 21 by a homeless couple who were looking for a place to sleep, according to Alligator archives. They ran to a nearby McDonald’s and called 911.

As of Monday, Kelly said the cause of Spates’ death was unknown.

He said some members of Spates’ family were at the scene where her remains were the same day they were discovered.

He didn’t know how her family members had been notified, although he said they knew Spates often went to that area of the woods.

Anyone who has information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office at 352-955-1818.

Contact Erin Jester at

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