Cold Case Cracked: Decades-Old Florida Mystery Solved


Solving a Chilling Cold Case: Mary Alice Pultz Identified After Nearly 4 Decades

In a remarkable turn of events, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office (LA News Center) announced the identification of a victim in a homicide case that had remained unsolved for nearly four decades.

Unearthing the Victim’s Identity

Back in April 1985, human remains were discovered in a shallow grave on Crescent Beach, a tranquil spot about 50 miles south of Jacksonville.

The initial investigation suggested the victim was a white female, aged between 30 and 50 at the time of her demise. The circumstances led authorities to conclude that her death was a homicide, shrouding her identity in mystery.

Determined to unravel the truth, the remains were sent for analysis to Othram, a renowned private forensics lab, in 2023. Scientists at Othram extracted DNA and created a profile, which was then compared against consumer genealogy databases.

Through this method, potential relatives of the victim were identified, leading to the revelation of her name: Mary Alice Pultz.

The Victim’s Life Before Tragedy

Tragically, Mary Alice Pultz’s life had been marked by hardships even before her untimely demise. Born in 1943, she spent her formative years in Maryland. However, she disappeared in 1968 after setting out with her boyfriend, John Thomas Fugitt.

Investigators believe Pultz may have suffered a severe head injury, likely from a vehicle accident, sometime after 1968. She underwent brain surgery, but the extent of her recovery remains unknown.

A Puzzling Case and Suspects

John Thomas Fugitt, Pultz’s boyfriend at the time of her disappearance, became a person of interest in the case.

Interestingly, Fugitt was convicted and sentenced to death in Georgia for murdering his male roommate in 1981. He passed away in prison before his execution could be carried out.

The investigation into Pultz’s murder continues, with detectives diligently pursuing any shred of information that might lead to a resolution.

A Testament to Perseverance and Technology

St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick expressed his admiration for his team’s tenacity and the advancements in DNA technology that played a pivotal role in cracking the cold case.

“This investigation is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our detectives and the remarkable advancements in DNA technology,” Hardwick said.

“After nearly four decades, we are finally able to provide Mary Alice’s family with some answers, bringing them a sense of closure and justice,” he added.

Honoring Mary Alice Pultz

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office urges anyone with information that could aid the ongoing investigation into Pultz’s murder to come forward and contact law enforcement.

May Mary Alice Pultz’s memory serve as a reminder that the passage of time does not extinguish the pursuit of justice and that the resilience of loved ones can bring about a sense of closure, even after decades of anguish.