Serial killer's victim identified as Bobbie Soden, Fort Myers Police report

In this News-Press file photo, investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Fort Myers Police Department sift through dirt that was found at the remains of eight bodies found off of Arcadia Street in Fort Myers on Friday, March 23, 2007. The bodies of eight men were uncovered; with police announcing on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, that a fourth one has been identified.

Fort Myers Police announced they've identified a fourth of eight men linked to a serial killer.

In 2007, police discovered the skeletal remains of eight men in a wooded area of east Fort Myers. On Tuesday, they confirmed one of the eight as Robert Ronald “Bobbie” Soden.

The department's Cold Case Unit working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Parabon Nanolabs, a private DNA analysis company, conducted a genealogy research program working with DNA that was collected from one of the skeletal remains.

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Fort Myers Police identified a body found in 2007 as Bobbie Soden. His was among seven others found in Fort Myers. He'd been missing since 1996.
Fort Myers Police identified a body found in 2007 as Bobbie Soden. His was among seven others found in Fort Myers. He'd been missing since 1996.

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Based on the data, investigators developed a family tree linked to Soden. FMPD Cold Case Investigators then located direct relatives and completed direct comparison DNA with FDLE.

The last known contact Soden had with friends or family was when he was 30.  Investigators tied him to Lee County, with family members in New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington.

Investigators believe Soden, like the other seven, were victims of a serial killer.

The suspect

Daniel O. Conahan
Daniel O. Conahan

Daniel Conahan, of Port Charlotte, known as the “Hog Trail Killer” was identified as a person of interest during the ongoing investigation. Conahan is on death row in Florida for a murder he committed in Charlotte County in 1996.

The skeletal remains of the eight men found in Fort Myers displayed similarities to the Charlotte County deaths. Police at the time wouldn't officially say the cases were linked, but an FGCU criminologist said the resemblances couldn't be ignored.

Solving the mystery

Investigators submitted DNA profiles for each of the eight male skeletons to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification.

The Database is a national clearinghouse for DNA profiles of missing persons and unidentified dead. Detectives conducted public awareness campaigns and and families that reported a missing family member submitted DNA samples.

Three of the subjects were identified: Jonathan Tihay, Johnathan Blevins and Eric Kohler. Tihay, 24, Kohler and Blevins disappeared from Fort Myers in 1995, records indicate.

National rankings

According to, the number of missing person cases has steadily declined since 1997, when nearly a million people were reported missing.

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons  database, more than 600,000 people go missing annually. Approximately 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year.

Nationally, Florida ranks third, with a recorded 1,612  listed as missing in 2022. California is first, followed by Texas, World Population Review reports.

More than 20,000 missing person cases and 14,000 unidentified body cases remain open, it said.

Fort Myers police said the investigation into the 2007 findings will continue until the remaining four victims are identified, and their families notified.

Police are asking for anyone who may remember Soden to contact the FMPD Cold Case Unit.

Stacey Henson is the breaking news and visuals editor for The News-Press and Naples Daily News. You may  contact her at

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Fort Myers: Serial killer's victim identified; 1 of 8 found in in 2007