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LEE COUNTY, FL (WAFF) -
The Lee County Sheriff's Office in Florida says a body has been recovered near the home a missing teacher shared with her ex-husband.
Detectives and crime scene techs found the remains in a densely wooded area in Bokeelia, Florida after receiving information from 45-year-old Daniel Proctor about the location of the body. A forensics unit will continue excavating remains for most of the day Wednesday. An autopsy will be performed to determine positive identification and cause of death.
The body was discovered Tuesday, the same day Proctor received two life sentences for theft convictions in Madison County, Alabama. Detectives with the Lee County, Florida Sheriff's Department were in Alabama to testify in Proctor's theft trial.
Amy Patterson was reported missing in July, 2011 when she didn't show up for the first day of school. Proctor was arrested on the Alabama theft charges after fleeing to Florida when investigators questioned him about Patterson's disappearance.
Investigators believe Patterson was a victim of domestic homicide. Proctor was charged with assault against Patterson in 1994.
"Right now we are just in a state of shock, even though it's been a year and a month," said Amy Patterson's family. "They told us about the possible findings and now we are just waiting on the Forensic report. You just can't prepare for how this feels."
If Proctor is charged with Patterson's murder, that charge will trump the felony theft charges he was convicted and sentenced on in Alabama on Tuesday.
Depending on what information Proctor gave to Florida authorities concerning the disappearance of Patterson, legal analyst Mark McDaniel said Proctor could face capital murder, which carries the death penalty, or a charge of murder, which carries life in prison.
Before any of that can take place, Proctor has to go through the extradition process.
He can either waive extradition back to Florida or Florida will extradite him to stand trial.
"If he waives extradition, it will be immediate. If he does not waive extradition, then they have to go through a process - the governor of Florida requests the governor of Alabama. It's a process that can be lengthy, but he will end up in the state of Florida on a murder charge," said McDaniel.
Proctor will be charged under Florida's Habitual Felony Offender Act.
Meaning, just like Alabama, Florida law allows the court to sentence convicted felons to extended sentences if they have prior felony charges.