Palm Beach County

Remains Identified as Broward Teen Missing Nearly 50 Years May Be Victim of Serial Killer

PBSO said the remains were found the morning of June 16, 1974, in a swampy area of Singer Island, located in North Palm Beach

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Detectives with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office have successfully identified human remains found as those of a teen missing from Broward County for nearly a half century.

PBSO said the remains were found the morning of June 16, 1974, in a swampy area of Singer Island, located in North Palm Beach. The investigation at the time determined the remains were those of a female between 15 and 20 years of age.

"She was skeletal remains, nothing left of her but the bones," said PBSO Det. Bill Springer during a Thursday news conference. "Detectives did their job, but they didn't have any of this new technology."

DNA was entered into the National Data Base for unidentified persons and genealogy was performed in November 2021.

"In December of 2021, they contacted me and said they would be able to possibly do genealogy on old cases. It was decided by the sheriff's office and my supervisors we would send up the unknown remains of this girl from 1974," said Springer.

The victim was identified as a 15-year-old Susan Poole, who is believed to have disappeared before Christmas Day in 1972 from her home at a trailer park in Fort Lauderdale.

Detectives believe Poole may have been the victim of serial killer Gerard Schaefer, who was a former Martin County Sheriff's Office deputy and former police officer in Wilton Manors. Springer said Schaefer lived near Poole.

Gerard Schaefer (Palm Beach Sheriff's Office)

PBSO said Poole's mother is still alive and they are asking for help from her friends to find a lead.

"I found several of her friends, talked to her family members and they all said she just disappeared," Springer said. "If I could talk to some friends...I may never be able to close this case."

Anyone with information is asked to call the PBSO at 561-688-3000 or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS.

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