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Raleigh man's remains found buried in flowerbed

Posted May 31, 2011

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— Police say no foul play is suspected in the death of a Raleigh man whose body was found buried in the backyard of his home. 

The remains of David Bostic were found in early May under a concrete flowerbed at 706 Colleton Road, Raleigh police said Tuesday.

Questions about David Bostic's whereabouts began in February 2010 after police found his wife, Ruth Bostic, 78, dead of natural causes in the home. 

Neighbors told police that Ruth Bostic had been married, but they believed her husband had died because they hadn't seen him in more than 15 years.

Neighbor Sandy Smith said David Bostic had a stroke and was taken to the hospital. He was never seen again.

Smith said Ruth Bostic would often shy away from questions about her husband. 

"You would ask her about him and she would say, 'He is in the sky,'" Smith said. 

Authorities did not find a death certificate and believed David Bostic might have been living in a nursing home. The last record Wake County had of David Bostic voting was in 1996. He would have been 84 at the time. 

Months later, the Social Security Administration contacted Raleigh police inquiring about David Bostic's whereabouts, according to search warrants. The agency said benefits checks for David Bostic were being directly deposited into a bank account he shared with his wife until her death. 

The call prompted Raleigh police to open a missing person's case.

At the urging of neighbors, police began looking at the possibility that David Bostic was buried underneath a slab of concrete in the home's front yard. 

"Everything kept leading back to the house, the last place he had been seen," Smith said. 

Raleigh man's remains found buried in flowerbed Raleigh man's remains found buried in flowerbed

Raleigh police obtained a ground penetrating radar from North Carolina State University's Forensic Science Department and examined the front yard in March. The radar found that something was beneath the concrete and crews quickly removed the slab. Instead of David Bostic's remains, authorities found a water line. 

Authorities then turned their attention to the backyard and a concrete flowerbed. Neighbors said Ruth Bostic had a privacy fence built around the area and also seemed to spend extra time there. 

"It used to make me wonder what she was doing talking to the ground," Smith said. 

Crews began digging up the flowerbed on May 4 and over the course of two days found the remains of David Bostic. 

Bostic had been dead for a long time before being discovered, police said. 

While the medical examiner could not determine the cause of death, Bostic was identified by a metal plate that had been placed in his hip during a surgery. 

Bostic would have turned 99 this year. 


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  • Milkman Jun 1, 2011

    If you think that the "survivor" benefits are the same as what you were collecting when both were alive, you are sorely mistaken.

    As an example (I'll make the numbers round just to give you an example) my grandfather collected let's say $1500 a month, and my grandmother didn't work as much so she only got $1000, so they were getting $2500/month together. Her survivor benefits allowed her to get what he would have gotten, but not what they were collecting together, so she gets $1500/month now, not $2500. Losing $1000 a month to a senior might make you consider some SS fraud... Just sayin'...

  • lovemail Jun 1, 2011

    His spouse would have continued to receive SS Benefits as his widow...no "embezzlement" here. I am left wondering, however, what happened to the benefits being direct deposited into the bank account AFTER she died in 2010, that is the only money that would need to be recouped. What's profound to me is that here are two people who lived their lives and virtually faded out into non-existence as they aged. In an era of self-importance, it just seems odd that they became relatively invisible.

  • h3ardita11b4 Jun 1, 2011

    it's simple. he died then buried himself, hence no foul play. i'm sure it happens all the time, right rpd?

  • Whosays Jun 1, 2011

    Well the woman is dead, all they can do to recoop money is to liquidate any assets she may have had if there are any left.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 1, 2011

    horsyset: "Wow, old news. News & Observer ran this story days ago."

    So? ALL breaking news runs on this website and their newscasts before it runs in the paper. What's your point?

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 1, 2011

    I'm assuming there was no foul play involved because the person that buried him is dead. The person who mixed and poured the concrete probably didn't know they were pouring it over a grave. Just thought they were completing a gardening project for the woman.

  • Z Man Jun 1, 2011

    No foul play? The woman embezzled $93k from the government!!! I guess with liberals, this is the norm.

  • venitapeyton Jun 1, 2011

    Snakebite Survivor, you're right, this story was in the N&O this weekend. I'd love for the media to finally decide on what is North Raleigh, downtown, and Southeast Raleigh. Colleton is near New Bern and Raleigh Blvd. We've always been called 'East'.

  • horsyset Jun 1, 2011

    Wow, old news. News & Observer ran this story days ago.

  • Whosays Jun 1, 2011

    I was wondering does anyone know who to contact if you would like to find old burial sites within a grave yard? My grandmother had 3 children whom she lost way back, the only headstone they had at the time were rocks, which cannot be found now. This is a church cemetary, would not want to dig up anything just find the location of the graves so we can properly mark them.