MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Jackson County Sheriff’s officials refused to release information to a News 13 reporter Friday about an investigation into the deaths of two men.

News 13 received information that Jackson County officials discovered the remains of two bodies on Wednesday. The remains were found in a field in the town of Jacob. There is speculation they were the remains of Stephon Gaines and Nicholas Hollis. The two men have been missing since October of 2021.

A News 13 reporter requested confirmation about the situation from the agency. Sheriff Donnie Edenfield apparently instructed his staff to refuse to confirm any information.

The reason provided for the refusal was, “they had to protect the victim’s family as well as law enforcement.”

Within an hour of our reporter leaving the sheriff’s office, the agency then posted the information on Facebook. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, under Edenfield’s leadership, frequently refuses to release important information to the public including matters of public safety.

The Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook post about the investigation can be read in its entirety below.

“Recently, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received information that led them to search a location in Jacob City. While canvasing a wooded area, investigators discovered skeletal remains. At this time, no official identification has been made, however, investigators believe these to be the remains of two missing men, Stephon Gaines and Nicholas Hollis.

This is still an active investigation, and anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 482-9624.”