Hunter uncovers body in Florida forest, says area smelled ‘like death’

Florida authorities have identified a decomposing body found Sunday in a forest in Central Florida by a hunter walking through the area.

Update 5:00 p.m. EDT Oct. 23: The victim has been identified as 49-year-old Daniel Allen Jones of Ocala, Florida, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, which has classified the case as a death investigation.

Investigators are asking for the public's help, requesting anyone that may have had contact with Jones recently to contact their office.

Original story: A hunter discovered a decomposing body Sunday while walking through a Central Florida forest, investigators said.

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The area looked suspicious, so he borrowed a friend's shovel and started digging.

According to an incident report from the Marion County Sheriff's Office, what a hunter uncovered underneath the brush in the Ocala National Forest "smelled really bad like death."

Deputies said hidden under the brush were human remains.

Deputies have not released any identifying information about the body. They said the investigation into the discovery is still active.

According to the incident report, the remains were found around 8 p.m. Sunday off in Umatilla.

A man said he was hunting deer in the area when he came upon what he thought were deer scratchings. According to the incident report, the man said he saw leaves covering the disturbed area and that "it looked suspicious."

The man told deputies he returned to the area with a shovel and started to dig. He said the area started to smell "like death." The report said that's when the hunter called a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer, who contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to call detectives at 352-732-9111 or make a tip anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-7867. Tip can also be made online at


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