WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. -- Forensic anthropologists have identified one of the skeletons found in the yard of a home near the Weeki Wachee Springs as that of a young Ohio girl who disappeared more than five years ago.
A second skeleton was determined by the anthropologists to be that of a white woman, aged 24, but she could not be identified, Hernando County Sheriff's Police Capt. Cliff Batten said Sunday.
The University of Florida anthropologists have not yet reached a conclusion about bones of a third person found in the same location, Batten said.
The 12-member grave excavation team at work at the five-acre homesite of William Mansfield, 56, took the day off Sunday but plans to resume digging Monday, Batten said.
'We will search all five acres of it. We've got to cover every square foot of it,' he said.
The identified skeleton was that of Elaine Zeigler, 15, of Warren, Ohio, who vanished from a camp ground near the Mansfield home on New Year's Eve of 1975. She had been vacationing with her parents in the Florida Keys. The family stopped for a few days camping near the Weeki Wachee Springs tourist attraction.
Her mother said she last saw Elaine about 10:30 p.m. with a hair dryer and towels, heading for the camp's shower room.
Batten said the girl was identified from dental records and from a high school ring, earrings and a necklace found with the skeleton. Sheriff's deputies were informed of the identification Saturday night by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and notified the Zeigler family.
Batten said there were no missing persons reports in Hernando County matching the description of the other woman, but deputies have begun checking on missing persons from other nearby areas in hopes of identifying the victim.
Mansfield was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment last November on sex charges involving four young girls. However, police have said he is not considered a suspect in connection with the skeletons.
His sons, Billy, 25, and Gary, 23, are jailed at Santa Cruz, Calif. Billy is charged with the rape-murder of a 30-year-old woman and Gary is held as an accessory.
Deputies have not disclosed why they began searching the Mansfield property March 16. The still unidentified skeleton was found the next day. Elaine Zeigler's remains were found Thursday.
Batten said the bones of the Zeigler girl were found in a shallow grave about 8 feet from Mansfield's house. The unidentified skeleton was found in another shallow grave about 35 feet from the house. The bones of the third person were discovered about six feet from the chimney of the home. All the graves were inside the fenced yard of the home.
Batten said the Mansfield family has owned the five-acre homesite for about 13 years.