Death penalty sought against handyman accused of hiding woman’s body in septic tank

Posted at 7:04 AM, May 31, 2022 and last updated 3:13 PM, December 13, 2022

By Scott Sutton

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. (WPTV) — Court documents filed earlier this month show that state prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a handyman accused of killing a Jensen Beach woman and then hiding her body in a septic tank.

Martin County Sheriff’s Office detectives discover what they believe to be the body of Cynthia Cole inside the septic tank of her Jensen Beach home. (Martin County Sheriff’s Office)

Documents filed May 18 show that state prosecutors declared their intent to seek the death penalty against 34-year-old Keoki Hilo Demich.

The body of Cynthia Cole, 57, was found on March 5 submerged in the septic tank — about 4 feet underground — after hours of excavation.

Cole had been reported missing in March after she had last been seen alive at the Jammin’ Jensen event in downtown Jensen Beach.

Demich was arrested soon afterward on a murder charge.

Sheriff William Snyder said investigators secured surveillance video that showed Demich walking away from Cole’s car on the night she disappeared.

The sheriff said Cole and Demich had known each other for years.

This story was originally published May 30 by WPTV in West Palm Beach, an E.W. Scripps Company.