Forensics confirms identity of human remains as missing Decatur man

James Robert Elliott (Decatur Police Department)

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that remains found by hunters in February are indeed those of Robert James Elliot. Elliot was reported missing in Decatur in October 2016.

The remains were sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville for identification and the results have been released.

Decatur Police say that on May 4, DNA analysis confirmed that the remains were that of Elliott. Elliott’s cause of death remains unknown, but investigators say foul play is not suspected.

Elliott was 72-years-old when he went missing and reportedly suffered from  Alzheimer’s. He was last seen leaving his home in Decatur. It was believed that he drove off and could not find his way back home.

In November 2016, his car was found in Jackson County on a property near Crow Mountain. Crews searched for two days but nothing was found.

In October of 2017, a property owner reported to authorities that they found articles of clothing belonging to Elliott not far from where his vehicle was found. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office along with the Scottsboro Rescue Squad, the Rosalie Rescue Squad and a Huntsville Police K-9 unit conducted another search of the area, digging and sifting through dirt. Crews searched for seven hours in the area where his pants and wallet were found and only discovered loose change and a pocket knife.

In February 2018, deer hunters contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office after finding bones near the area where Elliot’s vehicle was found. There were 12 bones found, including a skull.