Home moved to excavate remains of Florida teen missing since 2004

Home moved to excavate remains of Florida teen missing since 2004

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — Volusia County sheriff’s detectives solved a nearly 20-year-old cold case.

On the Volusia Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, the sheriff’s office said the suspected remains of Autumn Lane McClure, a Mainland High School student who disappeared on May 10, 2004, were found during the excavation of a suspected burial site on Wednesday.

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McClure was last seen when her boyfriend supposedly dropped her off at the Volusia Mall.

Later in 2004, investigators learned Autumn was staying in Ormond Beach with Brian Donley and Jessica Freeman.

When interviewed, the pair told detectives that Autumn did not get along with her grandmother and worked with Jessica at Winn Dixie. They told detectives Autumn stayed with them for a few days but left.

In 2016, Autumn’s boyfriend told investigators he did not drop Autumn off at the mall but instead dropped her off at the Seabreeze Bridge where she got into a car with Jessica Freeman.

Two years later detectives met with Freeman, then living in Nevada, who denied those events took place.

In 2021, Chris Miller, a relative of Brian Donley and Jessica Freeman, called detectives and told them Autumn was dead and that Donley and Freeman had something to do with the murder, per the sheriff’s office.

During a controlled call between Miller and Freeman, Freeman reportedly said Donley confessed to killing Autumn.

Freeman, living in Florida again, then agreed to talk to investigators if she would be granted immunity. Once given, she confessed that Autumn lived with the pair and they were involved in a sexual relationship at the time. Donley was 32 at the time of the sexual relationship, according to authorities.

Freeman also said she saw Donley choking Autumn after coming home one evening, and that Donley threatened to kill her to keep her quiet, per the sheriff’s office.

Freeman told investigators Donley killed Autumn because she wanted to return home and Donley was worried he would face legal consequences for their sexual relationship.

Donley died on May 26, 2022, while the investigation was ongoing.

“The sad part is he will never face, in this world, for the evil he perpetrated,” said Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood. “I’m hoping to god that, when he took his last breath on May 26 of 2022, that maybe he had a vision of where he was headed.”

The remains were discovered buried in the area of the trailer home, which had been removed and replaced with a new manufactured home built on top of the lot.

The new home had to be removed from the lot and the driveway was torn up for the excavation.

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