MANATEE -- Detectives believe human remains found in Duette Preserve belonged to a man they say shot his girlfriend to death in August, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Park rangers found bones and personal items on Thursday, according to a sheriff's office news release Friday.
After killing 42-year-old Maria Moralez on Aug. 28 in an orange grove off State Road 62, detectives believe Joel Ramirez walked about two miles to a wooded area in the preserve and shot himself to death, according to investigators.
The sheriff's office had been looking for Ramirez, 32, since the slaying, "but he had not been seen or heard from," the news release states.
Investigators will conduct DNA testing to confirm the remains belonged to Ramirez, but the sheriff's office did say that the other items found included Ramirez's personal identification.