Houston County man missing for 28 years likely found
STEINHATCHEE, Fla- (WTVY) - The body of James Aaron Toole, who had been missing for 28 years, has likely been found in a Florida river.
Workers cleaning up following Hurricane Idalia discovered skeletal remains in a Chevrolet Cavalier with a 1995 Houston County license plate submerged in the Steinhatchee River about one hour west of Gainesville.
Toole, 72, was driving that model when he disappeared from his hometown of Pansey, Alabama, on May 15, 1995.
Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said a credit card and Sam’s Club card bearing “Toole” were found inside the car. However, the sheriff said investigators must conduct further testing before positively identifying the body.
He told News4 that he dispatched officers to Florida and efforts are underway to recover the car from the water.
According to reports, Toole, known to friends as Aaron, told his family he planned to visit a sick relative in Florida but never arrived. Before leaving, he worked part of his shift at a rural store along Houston County Highway 75.
A Facebook page dedicated to locating Toole claims a person reported finding his wallet in 2020 in Bainbridge, GA.
However, Sheriff Valenza said he could not confirm that report. He told News4 that Toole’s family has been notified.
WCJB contributed to this report.
This story will be updated.
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