Shock twist after teen's skeletal body found tied to a tree with wire is linked to ex-cop believed to be a SERIAL KILLER

A TEEN that was found dead in a tree may have been the victim of a former cop thought to be a serial killer, detectives have claimed.

High school dropout Susan Poole, of Florida, mysteriously disappeared and was reported missing just before Christmas in 1972.


Detective William Springer, of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, said Poole, 15, lived between her family's home in Fort Lauderdale and a pal's apartment.

Her skeletal remains were discovered in June 1974, the Associated Press revealed.

Springer said: “She was tied up in the mangroves with a wire to a tree. She was skeletal remains, totally nothing left of her except bones.”

Her body was found in an area known as the Burnt Bridges on the Florida A1A state road, WPTV reports.

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Springer added: “Nobody knew where she went. Her clothes, pocketbook were still at an apartment that she was staying at.”

The case went cold as DNA technology wasn’t available, but last year, the remains were sent to a Texas forensics lab and experts were able to identify the body as belonging to Poole.

Around 50 years later, cops are now looking for evidence that links Poole with serial killer Gerard Schaefer.

Springer revealed that Schaefer lived in Broward County – the same location as Poole.

Schaefer was killed after being stabbed by an inmate at the Florida State Prison in 1995.

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He was a deputy for the Martin County Sheriff’s Office at the time of Poole’s mysterious disappearance.

Schaefer was sentenced to life behind bars after being found guilty of murdering two other teen girls, 16 and 17.

Their decapitated remains had been found in Martin County in April 1973.

Springer believes that Schaefer could have been involved in Poole’s death because the way the teens were killed was similar.

But, there is no physical evidence connecting Schaefer with Poole’s death.

The investigator claimed: “Gerard Schaefer is the best suspect due to the location, the fact she was in the mangroves, that she was tied up in the mangroves. He was active back then.”

Poole’s friends reportedly told the cops that she would hitchhike often.

And, law enforcement claimed that Schaefer often picked up girls that were hitchhiking, WPLG reported.

Cops have revealed Schaefer was implicated in up to 30 deaths.

Prosecutor Robert Stone said Schaefer “made Ted Bundy look like a girl scout”.

Springer now wants friends of Poole to come forward to see if she had any relationship with Schaefer.

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Anyone with information should inform the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Alternatively, Crime Stoppers can be contacted at 800-458-TIPS.

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