Autopsy confirms body in shallow grave is that of missing Leesburg woman

Lake County investigators on Thursday spent hours at the home of a woman whose body was found in a shallow grave on Wednesday evening.

Rubye Harrison James, 92, lived alone in her home at 2022 Edgewood Road in Leesburg.   Deputies discovered that James and her car were missing while conducting a well-being check after she had not been seen or heard from since Tuesday.

"Once the deputies went into her home to check her well-being, it became pretty apparent rather quickly that something had gone awry," said Lt. John Herrell with the Sheriff's Office.   

Hours later, deputies found the missing woman's 2016 Hyundai Veloster about four miles away, in the area of Snow Place in Leesburg.  Then, a K-9 detected human remains in a nearby wooded area. 

"It was a sheriff's K-9 that tracked from the area of the car, to the shallow grave, and that's when the discovery was made," Herrell said.  "The way everything has played out, it is reasonable to expect that it is Mrs. James."

Nearly 20 hours later, an autopsy confirmed it was James.

"The preliminary results of the autopsy reveal that the manner of death is homicide; the cause of death is not yet being released," Herrell said. 

Anyone with information as to her recent whereabouts or company she was with over the past few days is asked to call the Sheriff's Office, or Central Florida Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).   A  $5,000 reward is being offered to information that will lead to an arrest.