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Who is the Hog Trail killer? A look back at a series of tragic murders that haunted Florida throughout the 90s

Daniel Conahan has only been charged with one murder.
Daniel Conahan has only been charged with one murder.(WWSB)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:36 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - News that another potential victim of the Hog Trail Killer has been identified 27 years after his death is a bleak reminder of a terrifying series of deaths that happened in the 1990s known as ‘The Hog Trail Murders.’ Police determined the similar scenes to be the work of the same individual.

Investigators have only been able to charge Daniel Conahan with the murder of one victim. Officials say Conahan tortured, raped and mutilated homosexual males throughout Central Florida.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s office has identified a victim found in the woods in 1994. DNA identified the victim as Jerry Lombard.

New sketch of John Doe #1 thought to be the first victim of the Hog Trail Murders.
New sketch of John Doe #1 thought to be the first victim of the Hog Trail Murders.(SOURCE: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office)

Lombard’s body was found by construction workers in the woods near Wyandotte Avenue and Tulip Street in northern Charlotte County. There was no identification found with the body. Early attempts to identify him were not successful. The cause of death was undetermined and the body was given the temporary name, John Doe #1.

Four other men in similar, desolate areas across Charlotte and Sarasota counties were found dead just a couple of years later. All of the victims were found naked with their genitals mutilated, leading detectives to believe one killer was responsible.

Investigators have only been able to charge Daniel Conahan with the murder of one of victim, Richard Montgomery, 21. Graphic testimony was presented to a jury who convicted Conahan. He was sentenced to death on Dec. 10, 1999.

However, police are convinced that all the murders can be linked to him and that’s why he’s since been known as the Hog Trail Killer.

Familial DNA was used to identify victim Jerry Lombard.

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