Homeowner Finds Toes Sticking Out of Ground in Backyard, Leading to Discovery of Missing Man's Body

The victim has been identified as 23-year-old Sabeion Dowell

<p>Jacksonville Sheriff

Jacksonville Sheriff's Department/Facebook

Sabeion Dowell

The body of a man who had been missing for three weeks was found buried in the backyard of a Florida home, authorities said.

The victim has been identified as Sabeion Dowell, 23, a spokesperson with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office tells PEOPLE. Dowell had been missing since February, Action News Jax reports.

The grim discovery came to light on Wednesday evening when Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of human remains being found in the backyard of a home on Sunny Acres Drive East, the JSO said in a statement.

The owner of the home was doing work in the backyard and saw “toes sticking out of the ground,” according to a woman who was there when the homeowner came upon the decomposing foot, News4Jax reports.

“We were working inside the house and then the owner came to us and said ‘Hey, there is something here. We have to call 911,’” the woman, who didn’t want to be identified, told News4Jax.

“I just hope that everything gets solved," the woman told the outlet. "My reaction to this is just craziness. I would never expect this, especially at a house that I am working at.”

The homeowner, who also did not want to be identified, was renovating the house, which is a rental property, when he said he found the remains, he told News4Jax.

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Expressing concern for the victim and his family, the homeowner told News4Jax, “I want to offer my condolences to the young person or to the person they found at my property. No family at all should have to go through that, at all."

His family came to the home when they learned a body had been found, News4Jax reports.

Authorities are still investigating how Dowell died and how he came to be buried on the property.

“This incident will be classified as pending until the Medical Examiner’s Office can complete their investigation to determine the manner of death,” the JSO said in a statement.

Police said the family hadn’t heard from Dowell in days, which was unusual for him, Action News Jax reports.

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