A Tampa-area family’s long-awaited answer to the missing husband and father has come to an end.
The Tallahassee Police Department announced this week that human remains were found in a wooded area near Apalachee Parkway, a commercial road lined with strip malls and hotels that dot the east side of the city. Shortly thereafter, according to the Tallahassee Democrats, they announced they had identified the deceased as Jason Winokur, 52, of Land O Lakes, about 20 miles north of Tampa, based on information received from the local coroner’s office.
Winokur disappeared from SpringHill Suites by Marriott on August 17, 2021. About three minutes down the Apalachee Parkway, he is a mile down and across the street from where the body was found. His wife, Lenny, told her local CBS affiliate, WCTV, that at the time, she discovered that the two of them were themselves at around 1 a.m. when Jason woke up, grabbed his wallet and room keys, and left without his phone. He said he slept in his room.
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She said he looked “disoriented” and told Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA the following month that he behaved “irritated”.
“It wasn’t that weird, so I guess I didn’t think much of it in that moment. [him] Go down to the lobby or something,” she told WCTV.
However, when she woke up, or returned to her hotel in the evening, Jason wasn’t there.
“I’m not really sure what he was thinking that night, so of course my imagination runs wild, but I hope he’s okay,” she told the station.
“Could he have fallen in a trash can or been assaulted? Could he have been hit in the head and amnesiac?” I pointed out that I didn’t have the key and there was no activity on my credit or debit card.
A missing person flyer produced by the family stated that an internal heart defibrillator could be seen on his left side.
The couple were in Tallahassee to drop off their eldest daughter (one of four children) at Florida State University, about four miles west of the hotel, according to WFLA.
Lenny said he told her that Tallahassee police had extensively searched the area around the hotel.
“Police took dogs to search a one-mile area around the hotel,” she told the agency last year. “They used corpse dogs, drones, and dogs specific to his smell, but they were unable to pick up a solid trail.”
Winokur’s body was found Monday afternoon in a wooded area off the Apalachee Parkway by a group of people “looking for relics” within radius of the area police told his widow they searched last year.
Tallahassee Police Department spokesperson Alicia Hill said: “At this time, we do not know when he was in the forest area.