The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has announced they believe they have found the remains of Lauren Dumolo but they need dental records to make a positive ID.
Her disappearance on June 19, 2020 has been investigated by the Cape Coral Police Department since that day.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said the skeletal remains of what appears to be a white woman, between the ages of 30 and 50 were found. The person appears to have been deceased less than five years but more than six months.
The remains were found on Oct. 5 in a wooded vacant lot off of Pine Island Road in North Fort Myers, Marceno said.
Marceno said the agency reviewed missing person’s cases in the area and found the remains matched the description of Dumolo.
“We cannot conclude the remains belong to Lauren Dumolo, however, it cannot be excluded,” Marceno said.
Marceno said he is making the announcement in hopes to find a dentist who treated Dumolo.
Cape Coral police Chief Anthony Sizemore said the case has been a priority from the beginning.
“Every solid lead looks like it could be the one and to be let down is punishing,” he said.
Not every lead is shared with the family, Sizemore said.
Dumolo had a dental extraction about 10 years in Staten Island, Sizemore said.
The hope is to track down the dentist in order to compare dental records with the remains.
If dental records can’t be tracked down, Sizemore said skeletal DNA will be used, but it can be a long and painstaking process.
Sizemore said if the remains belong to Dumolo then the Cape Coral Police Department will hand over the case to the sheriff’s office.
Sizemore said over 100 people have been interviewed in the missing person’s case.
Investigators would not say how the person died.
Dumolo has been missing since June 19, 2020 when she failed to return to her Cape Coral home. Her purse was found that same day at Cape Coral’s Four Freedom’s Park.
Dumolo left her cellphone at her apartment.
On July 3rd, her sister said Dumolo’s boyfriend found her shirt in the sand at the park where her purse was found.
Dumolo’s father Paul Dumolo told WINK News he is heartbroken over the discovery.
While law enforcement cannot positively identify the remains as Dumolo, Paul said he always had the gut instinct that his daughter was gone.
The call from Sizemore hit him hard.
“At first I stopped breathing I think for a second you know the reality of it all set in that maybe we finally had closure,” Paul said. “It kind of hits you between the eyes that this is it; your daughter’s gone. Your child is gone.”
He said he felt it when Dumolo didn’t call him for Father’s Day in 2020.
“As a parent, I think you always have that instinct,” he said. “I knew it was really bad when I didn’t hear from her on Father’s Day because … And when that happened in my heart I knew this was going to be real bad.”
Paul also said there is a sense of relief, presuming the remains are his daughter.
“I can finally give her a resting place that’s better than being dumped somewhere in the woods which is something she didn’t deserve,” he said. “Being the father of six daughters and always thinking I have to protect my children … And I wasn’t there to do that, that weighs on me.”
WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko said the need for dental records is because it’s the quickest way to get a positive ID on the skeletal remains.
Kolko said there’s a likelihood the remains were found with something that belonged to Dumolo.
“It’s more than just the skeletal remains, otherwise I don’t think the chief and the sheriff would have gone that far out on the limb to say it was likely Lauren,” Kolko said.
Kolko said even though investigators are hoping to find dental records, they will likely have begun the process of identifying the remains through DNA.
“They want to get to the answer as quickly as they can,” Kolko said.
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