DELTONA, FL – According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the son of a man found dead in the St. Johns River in December 2012 has been charged in his father’s murder. Robert Remus Jr., 51, was taken into custody without incident Tuesday at his home in DeBary. He is being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail on a charge of second-degree murder.
His father, Robert Remus Sr., was 67 when he was discovered by boaters on Dec. 12, 2012. Remus Sr. was found floating in the St. Johns River north of 488 West Highbanks Road, Debary (Highbanks Marina). Upon recovery from the water, it was discovered that the victim had a rope tied around his body and tethered to an object below the water. At autopsy, the victim was positively identified and his death was ruled a homicide.
When the investigation began, it was learned that Remus Sr. and Remus Jr. had left the Highbanks Marina together on a pontoon boat a few days prior to the victim being found dead. Detectives interviewed Remus Jr. and it was determined that he was the last person to see his father alive. In addition, after his father was found dead, Remus Jr. began telling various accounts of his father’s whereabouts to several different parties, all while continuing to frequent his father’s residence.
Remus Jr. was also believed, based on historical cell phone records, to have been in possession of and utilized Remus Sr.’s cell phone after his death. Remus Jr. also saw significant financial gain after his father’s death, as he was awarded thousands of dollars after Remus Sr.’s assets were liquidated via probate court.
Throughout the investigation, various Sheriff’s Office Major Case Unit detectives worked on the case. While Robert Remus Jr. was a person of interest, there was not enough evidence to make an arrest.
For the past year, Major Case Unit Detective Seth Amrhine reviewed the case and developed some new investigative leads. Detective Amrhine used updated technology to review cell phone records, had DNA evidence re-analyzed and conducted new interviews with those related to the case. He also worked with the State Attorney’s Office Homicide Investigative Unit on the case review.
Nearly eight years after the victim’s murder, Detective Amrhine received a warrant for the arrest of Remus Jr. as the person responsible for his father’s death.