PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – After seven years Pasco County detectives made a crack in a cold case involving the murder of a homeless man. Investigators have finally identified the remains of George Levine, who was found in the woods by the USA Flea Market on U.S. 19 in Port Richey.
Detectives were finally able to identify a digital composite of Levine. “We went out to a scene; there was a decomposed body at the scene. It was around the flea market at U.S. 19 and 52. And the body was badly decomposed,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Thursday.
The decomposition made it hard to ID Levine for years. But detectives never gave up.
University of South Florida Anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle came up with the original sketch. “We put together what’s called a biological profile and then that’s everything you can learn about a person, like your biology, like age and sex and ancestry and stature,” Dr. Kimmerle said.
Kimmerle also determined Levine died from blunt force trauma.
It would be the fingerprint that would be the key. “Look at the potential matches to see that George Levine obviously is almost a dead ringer,” Sgt. David Boyer said.
Now Sheriff Nocco wants to find Levine’s killer. “Because of identifying who it is, we’re able to ask for the public’s assistance, so hopefully we get some more leads and able to bring someone to justice,” he said.
The sheriff said investigators interacted with Levine 14 days before his body was found.
Detectives said Levine was from New Port Richey. He was married, but once his wife passed, he became homeless, deputies said.
His last known address was at the Belmont Inn and Suites in Port Richey.
Investigators said Levine was known in the area for walking along U.S. 19 between Pasco and Pinellas counties.
Beth Russ remembers Nov. 20,2009, when police swarmed the flea market. “Generally speaking, to get into where they found the male, they would go in by where Withlacoochee used to be,” Russ said. “I’m just glad to hear they identified him and I just hope it brings some peace to his family.”
Contact authorities if you have any information regarding Levine’s death.