Human remains found in 18-year-old cold case

Human remains have been found by the Madison County Sheriff's Office while digging for the body of a victim in an 18-year-old cold case.

Posted: Oct. 17, 2018 10:32 AM
Updated: Oct. 18, 2018 3:27 PM

UPDATE: Human remains have been discovered. At 10:40 a.m. Thursday crews found a blue tarp and had to slow down digging.

At 12:25 p.m. Thursday the crews had removed enough dirt around to find the remains inside of the blue tarp. Donny Shaw with Huntsville Police said the remains will be taken to the Department of Forensics.


Warren Flippo

According to the sheriff's office, Flippo was an acquaintance of the person who lived in the house where the crews have been digging. 

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An object was discovered at 10:40 a.m. Thursday that is slowing the digging process down. Crews are looking at the object closely and a coroner has arrived at the scene. Crews are digging with hand shovels to not disturb the object.

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The Madison County Sheriff's Office started digging 9 a.m. Wednesday for the body of a victim in an 18-year-old cold case at the intersection of Old Cave Spring Road and Old Gurley Pike. Warren Flippo, went missing in the area in 2000.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said they called the Madison County Sheriff's Office at the beginning of the week with information they'd received about Flippo, which led to the digging.

"We don't ever want to let a case go that we do not do everything we can for a resolution. I'm not sure who the surviving family members are, but somebody out there knows Mr. Flippo or is possibly related to Mr. Flippo, and they deserve closure," said Lt. Donny Shaw with the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office borrowed equipment and workers from Madison County District three to help with the digging operation. Throughout the day Thursday, more heavy equipment was brought in to help with the digging. The search area was determined on Tuesday when the sheriff's office examined the area after receiving a lead that Flippo might be buried in the yard of a mobile home.

Flippo was last seen on June 24, 2000 near his home on Old Gurley Pike in New Hope, according to the sheriff's office. In 2000, the sheriff's office said they were told he was last seen driving two cars to his home that he had won in a poker game the night before. However, the sheriff's office said, investigators now believe that might have just been a rumor.

After his disappearance, a reward was offered by Crimestoppers for information about the case. A search of several areas failed to turn up Flippo or his body. The Madison County Sheriff's Office said in 2000 they had turned up information that indicated foul play.

In 2005, the sheriff's office got a tip that Flippo was under a concrete driveway near Cherry Tree Road and McMullen Drive. Investigators searched and found nothing. That was the only search since 2000, when he went missing.

A guard detail will be remaining overnight at the scene for security, as long as the digging continues.

"We will stay in this operation until we have exhausted all our leads out here or until we find something that will be useful in this case," Shaw said.

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