Two Florida Cold Case Murder Victims Identified After 30 Years
Authorities recently identified two homicide victims in separate Volusia cases after being nameless for 30 years. The man and the woman were identified after officials conducted DNA tests.
The county sheriff's spokesman said the man had been a John Doe since 1986. He was identified as Howard "Kip" Evans. The other victim, Doris Regina Chavers, has been dead since 1991.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood believes uncovering the identities of the corpses is a sign that their department does not stop working on cases. "We keep working them until science comes along that may give the victims' families closure."
The identification of the victims may also present new leads to investigators.
Authorities discovered Howard "Kip" Evans' body on January 18, 1986, at the Bulow State Park in Volusia County, Florida. It is undetermined when he died. A forensic examination of his skeletal remains showed he suffered violent trauma and was murdered.
Kip's had hemifacial microsomia or the deformity of the lower jaw. His jaw protruded to the right side of his face and wore his light brown hair in a ponytail.
Kip suffered from periodontal disease caused by poor oral health. He was reportedly between the age of 21 to 35 at the time of death.
According to official reports, he wore a dirt-stained gray or light green pullover shirt with black sleeves, a black cap with a Confederate flag pin, a leather belt with a Harley Davidson metal buckle, size 32 blue jeans, striped gray socks, and size 11 black leather boots.
Volusia County investigator worked his case, following leads and tips for years. The case went cold after they were unable to get his identification.
In 2019, investigators were notified about a social media post in a Missing person group. The post said a woman's 29-year-old son had been missing since 1984 and was last seen in Volusia County. The man's name was Howard Evans.
Evan's family never formally filed a missing person report. He was legally declared dead in 1990.
Officials obtained a DNA sample from Kip's mother and sent it to the University of North Texas Center (UNTC).
The Medical Examiner's Office is working on releasing Evan's remains to his family.
Doria Regina Chavers was first reported missing on August 1, 1990, at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
Local authorities were called to a heavily wooded area on August 19, 1991. Two fishermen found the corpse just off the 400 block of Enterprise Osteen Road. The condition of the remain made it impossible for the investigators to identify the body.
An autopsy performed in September 1991 determined the remains belonged to a female aged 30 to 40. They found signs of violent trauma, ultimately leading investigators to rule the case a homicide.
Like Kip, Doria's case went cold after investigations failed to produce any identification.
In 2018---28 years after she was reported missing---the Seminole County Sheriff's Office successfully tracked down Chaver's biological daughter. They obtained a DNA sample and sent it to the UNTC.
On January 21, 2020, the detectives received confirmation that the body does belong to Doria. They immediately informed her daughter, who said she was relieved to know what happened to her mother finally.
Both cases are still ongoing. Anyone with information may contact the Volusia Sherrif's Office at 386-254-1537.
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