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Body of missing Venice man found in woods near college

Neil Smith

Neil Smith

Sub­mit­ted by Sara­sota Co. Sheriff’s Office

VENICE, Fla. – The body of a Venice man who was reported miss­ing 11 days ago was found today, accord­ing to a 3:47 p.m. email news release from the Sara­sota County Sheriff’s Office.

There was no cause of death given for Neil Smith, 72, of Venice, whose body was found near the State Col­lege of Florida’s campus.

Accord­ing to the release, “An orga­nized search effort today by Sara­sota County Sheriff’s Office per­son­nel and mem­bers of other state and local agen­cies located the body of Mr. Smith in a wooded area west of the State Col­lege of Florida’s Venice Cam­pus. While the Med­ical Exam­iner will make pos­i­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, items found at the scene have been iden­ti­fied as those belong­ing to Smith.”

Smith’s car had been found in the cam­pus park­ing lot on Sept. 23. He had been reported miss­ing on Sept. 21. A ground search of the area with the assis­tance of the Avi­a­tion Unit and Sara­sota K9 Search and Res­cue vol­un­teers came up empty, an SCSO spokes­woman told Engle­wood Edge. The search con­tin­ued, and seemed to inten­sify in the past few days.

Orig­i­nal story:

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. – A 72-year-old Venice man miss­ing for more than a week is the sub­ject of a con­tin­u­ing search by the Sara­sota County Sheriff’s Office.

Neil Smith has not been seen by friends or fam­ily since Sun­day, Sept. 20. He was reported miss­ing by his wife when he didn’t return home and a “be on the look­out” tele­type was sent to area law enforce­ment agen­cies. His vehi­cle was located Sept. 23 on the State Col­lege of Florida Venice Campus.

A ground search of the area with the assis­tance of the Avi­a­tion Unit and Sara­sota K9 Search and Res­cue vol­un­teers came up empty, but the search has continued.

Search­ing again today with Sara­sota K9 Search and Res­cue and some mem­ber of ERT,” wrote Sara­sota Sheriff’s Office Com­mu­nity Affairs Man­ager Wendy Rose in a Wednes­day email. “If noth­ing is found we will have addi­tional boots on the ground tomor­row (Thurs­day), includ­ing dune bug­gies that will get us in the par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult areas of terrain.”

Smith is 6 feet tall and weighs 210 pounds. SCSO does not have a descrip­tion of what he might be wearing.

Any­one who sees Smith or has infor­ma­tion on his where­abouts is asked to call Crim­i­nal Inves­ti­ga­tions at 941−861−1713.

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