The development of the George Contos murder case, a man who went missing in suspicious circumstances in May 2015, has led to two suspects being charged with first-degree murder.
Donald Corcoran and his stepson Andrew Nemec, both of Palm Coast, are implicated in Contos’ disappearance through new DNA evidence, cell phone data and a spree of spending that investigators say may have been funded by the $25,000 in cash they have stolen. Conto’s house.
The case was re-examined on the true crime TV show, “Cold Justice,” which aired an episode about the mystery surrounding Contos’ disappearance.
What happened to George Contos?
Relatives reported Contos missing on May 17, and sheriff’s deputies found his 1997 Lincoln Town Car abandoned near an ACE hardware store in the parking lot of St. Joe Plaza off Palm Coast Parkway three days later.
Some clothes and his passport were found in the trunk. Store surveillance shows that Corcoran was purchased from the hardware store on the same day Contos was last seen.
The investigation began three years ago and detectives had collected most of the evidence before the “Cold Justice” TV crew came to town.
However, DNA evidence exaggerated the research.
The “Cold Justice” team paid to send DNA swabs to a lab for testing, resulting in a critical discovery of Nemec’s DNA on a handle on the driver’s side of the seat in Contos’ abandoned car and on money tapes that detectives recovered at Contos’ house in the 5800 block of Apricot Avenue.
The investigation revealed that Contos’ cash apparently came from the sale of a property he owned weeks before his disappearance. He tried to buy a 2013 Dodge Dually truck for $15,000 the day he disappeared.
The report suggests that Corcoran, a handyman who often did yard work for him, convinced Contos to make him a deal to buy the truck.
But investigators believe this was a ploy to lure Contos to Corcoran’s home on Fariston Lane in Palm Coast, where he was last seen alive on May 9, 2015.
The investigation into the murder of George Conto
Investigators have not revealed any physical evidence linking any of the suspects to the alleged murder of Contos, and his body has not been discovered.
Detectives said cell phone records indicate Contos’ phone remained near Corcoran’s home for more than three hours.
Perhaps the most tense moments on the TV show came when detectives questioned Corcoran and Nemec separately after collecting evidence that seemed to implicate both men.
Corcoran and Nemec told detectives on the show that Contos had come to Corcoran’s house that afternoon. However, Nemec told investigators Contos was visiting for about 15 minutes, while Corcoran said he was there for up to an hour.
When asked about his cash purchases weeks after Contos disappeared, Corcoran ended the interview and asked for a lawyer.
Prosecutor officials have not called back to ask for comment. Still, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly confirmed the names of the suspects, adding that his agency submitted the case for review at least a month ago.
While investigators have not revealed any physical evidence linking any of the suspects to Contos’ alleged murder, evidence points to Contos being dead.
Staly hopes someone who watched the TV show on Saturday night will provide information on where his remains can be found.