Johnny Edwards Malisham, 60, is facing homicide charges after the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office received a tip that a body was buried at his address

By Katie Campione
May 12, 2021 06:08 PM
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Johnny Edwards Malisham
Credit: Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office

A Florida man was arrested Sunday after authorities found human remains on his property.

Johnny Edwards Malisham, 60, is facing homicide charges after the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office received a tip that a body was buried at his address, according to a press release.

Shortly after receiving the tip, detectives were able to locate the unidentified human remains.

"Investigators discovered sufficient evidence and probable cause to obtain a warrant for the arrest of Malisham on homicide charges," the sheriff's office wrote.

Authorities are working to identify the remains officially.

However, an arrest report obtained by WEAR says that the tipster identified the victim as 60-year-old Cynthia Hoover, who had been missing in Milton, Florida, since March 8.

The tip came from a woman who said she has known Malisham for 15 years, and he tried to get her to help him hide Hoover's body, WEAR reports.

The arrest report says the woman told police Malisham allegedly killed Hoover with a hatchet in March, cracking open her skull. The woman also said Malisham allegedly threatened her if she refused to help, according to the news station.

The Butler County Sheriff's Office in Alabama then relayed the information to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office.

Malisham previously served 12 years in prison in Alabama for a manslaughter conviction, the Florida State Attorney's Office told WEAR.

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"Part of our analysis is in their prior record," Assistant State Attorney John Molchan said. "Certainly anybody with a prior of that magnitude, we will certainly take and vigorously prosecute that individual. We would do that with anybody under the circumstances."

The State Attorney's Office for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Malisham is being held without bond in Santa Rosa County Jail, court records show. In addition to one count of murder, Malisham also faces a charge of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

An attorney for Malisham could not be identified to comment on his behalf. It's unclear if he has entered a plea at this time.