The skeletal remains discovered Wednesday at a construction site in Charlotte’s Chantilly neighborhood are those of a man who disappeared more than four years ago, police said Thursday afternoon.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the bones were those of Jeffrey Hieronymus, who was 38 years old at the time of his disappearance. They said the medical examiner’s office ruled the cause of death to be suicide.
Officer Jessica Lawrence, a spokeswoman for CMPD, said the medical examiner’s office made the identification Thursday morning using dental records.
Hieronymus’ case had been listed in national databases for missing persons including the Charlotte-based Kristen Foundation.
Hieronymus disappeared early in the morning of Feb. 26, 2009, from his home on Chesterfield Drive in the Chantilly neighborhood. His girlfriend told police he had gone outside in the middle of the night to smoke a cigarette and was not seen again. The remains found Wednesday were about a block from where Hieronymus lived.
Lawrence said Thursday that CMPD conducted a number of searches for Hieronymus in 2009.
The remains were discovered about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday by a crew working on a sewer project along Briar Creek, in the 2600 block of Bay Street. That is in a neighborhood bordered by Independence Boulevard and Seventh Street, near the Elizabeth community.
It’s a quiet area of town, several residents said early Thursday morning.
“Word spread in a hurry last night, and it was really surprising,” said one woman, who was out with a neighbor early Thursday, walking their dogs. “It’s very unusual to have police activity around here.”
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