Harrell Avenue and Vincent Road
BONITA SPRINGS — Lee detectives questioned and then released a Bonita Springs couple shortly after the discovery of two bodies in a burning vehicle in rural Lee County on Sunday.
The couple’s black Jeep Cherokee matched the description of a vehicle seen fleeing the scene, said Loraine Hundley, one of the two questioned.
Hundley, 27, said deputies stopped her around 7 p.m. on Sunday, when they saw her leaving her Bonita Beach Road home in her black Jeep. The bodies had been discovered less than an hour earlier, off a narrow dirt road just north of Bonita Beach Road and east of the city line.
“I pulled out of the driveway and was pulled over,” Hundley said.
She was told her Jeep matched the description of a vehicle involved in a crime, she said, after which deputies impounded the vehicle and questioned her for hours. They brought her home at 12:30 a.m. on Monday, she said, and then took her husband, Kenneth Martin, for questioning. Martin returned home at 5 a.m., Hundley said.
She said neither of them were involved in the crime in any way.
John Sheehan, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said he could neither confirm nor deny that deputies sought a black Jeep after responding to the scene.
Hundley’s vehicle was returned on Friday morning, she said.
The two bodies were discovered in an burning SUV off Harrell Avenue, a narrow dirt road in rural Lee County just east of the Bonita Springs city line. The caller who reported the scene told deputies he heard gunshots and then saw the SUV on fire. The SUV also appeared to be a Jeep.
Medical examiners have completed autopsies on the two victims, but their identities and a cause of death have yet to be released by the Sheriff’s Office. The agency is calling the case a homicide investigation.
The area where the bodies were discovered, north of Bonita Beach Road and east of Interstate 75, is popular with ATV riders and gun enthusiasts. Much of the acreage is owned by the state and the South Florida Water Management District.
In May, a set of human bones were found roughly a mile to the east of the recent crime scene. The Sheriff’s Office is still conducting a death investigation in that case and has not ruled it a homicide. The bones have been sent to a lab in Gainesville.
Sheehan, the agency spokesman , said residents who live in the area shouldn’t be worried for their safety.
“If there’s a reason for the public to be concerned in any way, I can guarantee we’d let them know,” he said.