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Police identify 4th man in Charlotte County cold case

Investigators believe the man is one of eight murdered by a serial killer known as the "Hog Trail Killer."
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — After the skeletal remains of eight men were found back in 2007 in a wooded area of east Fort Myers, authorities have been working diligently to identify them.

DNA analyses have helped authorities name three of the men and on Tuesday, they were able to identify a fourth man. His name was Robert Ronald "Bobbie" Soden, Fort Myers Police Department said in a news release.

The Fort Myers Police Department Cold Case Unit said Soden was 30 when he was last heard from and investigators were able to tie him to the Fort Myers area around the time of his suspected death. The police department was able to locate relatives of Soden in New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington. 

In order to properly identify the remains, the cold case unit has been working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Parabon Nanolabs, a private DNA analysis company. The company uses a genealogy research program that works with DNA collected from the skeletal remains, identifies a probable person and then investigators contact potential family members to complete the DNA comparison. 

It's believed that Soden could've been killed by a serial killer active in east Fort Myers in the 1990s. Police said Soden's remains were found in the same area as other victims. 

Daniel Conahan was known as the "Hog Trail Killer" and identified as a person of interest during the ongoing investigation, Fort Myers police said. Conahan is currently on death row in Florida for a Charlotte County murder in 1996. 

"Investigators submitted DNA profiles for each of the eight male skeletons to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification," Fort Myers Police said. "The Database is a national clearinghouse for DNA profiles of missing persons and unidentified dead."

Through DNA samples collected from family members of reported missing people, they have been able to identify three of the other skeletal remains in addition to that of Soden. Their names are Jonathan Tihay, Johnathan Blevins and Eric Kohler. 

"The investigation will not stop until all eight of the victims are identified and their families are notified," investigators say.

Law enforcement is asking anyone who may have remembered Bobbie Soden to contact the FMPD Cold Case Unit at 239-321-8040 with any information.

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