St. Petersburg Police have identified the severed and badly decomposed human head that was found at an overpass by a jogger in July of 2020 as Donald Edward Coston, 80.
Due to the nature of the remains, the SPPD used DNA to identify Coston’s gender and identity.
The cause of death and a solid timeline of death remain unknown.
“The best we can do is ask if anyone knows anything, so that we can find out what really happened to him,” said SPPD Public Information Officer Yolanda Fernandez.
A jogger found the remains in a bike lane near the intersection of 38th Avenue South and 31st Street and alerted authorities at 7 a.m. on July 7
“It was very difficult to identify him. We had to get a forensics anthropologist involved and send the tissue to multiple testing sites,” Fernandez said.
A Man Unknown
After several genealogical tests, police determined that Coston was adopted and had seven half siblings in Alabama and Florida.
Coston did have one son, who was adopted at birth and never met his biological parents.
“We know [Coston] was in weak health, but we have not been able to locate where he was in those final weeks of his life,” Fernandez said.
None of the family located had seen him in 25 years.
“He was living with a woman and left home in July, and she never saw him again,” Fernandez said. “This case is going off of a lot of strong possibilities; it’s a lot of digging.”
The St. Petersburg Police Department asks anyone with information to please contact detectives at 727-893-7780.