CALVERT COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — A day after deputies arrested a man in the murders of a missing D.C.-area photographer, they said that human remains found in Pennsylvania are believed to be those of the photographer.
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) said that Joseph Shymanski, 51, of Huntingtown last was seen on Sept 3. around 4 p.m. His family reported Shymanski missing the following day.
The sheriff’s office said in a post that detectives suspected foul play and identified 47-year-old Brandon R. Holbrook of Reedsville, Pa. as a suspect.
Deputies arrested Holbrook on Wednesday. The charges against him are first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault.
On Thursday, CCSO said that it worked with the Mifflin County Regional Police Department and found human remains. They did not formally identify the remains as those of Shymanski, but CCSO said in a post that it does “believe they are associated with our ongoing investigation.”
In a post shared to the Mifflin County Regional Police Department’s Facebook page, the chief of police said that officers found human remains within “several hundred yards of Holbrook’s residence.”
“While DNA confirmation will take some time, we believe these human remains are the remains of the missing person from Calvert County Maryland,” the statement said.
CCSO said that this was an isolated incident.
The sheriff’s office said late Thursday that Holbrook was the significant other of Shymanski’s ex-wife.
Anyone with any information was asked to contact Wayne.Wells@calvertcountymd.gov and reference case 23-62906.
Shymanski was known in the D.C. area for his photography featuring LEGO figures and more. An Instagram post made after he was reported missing described him as a “photographer and longtime vendor at Eastern Market.”
A vigil was held for him on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Eastern Market, a place where he sold his art, and friends and family gathered to honor and remember his life.
“This won’t go away, he was loved. Very loved,” Peter Stein, Shymanski’s best friend, said.
Joel Traylor, a close friend of Shymanski, said he is trying to wrap his “head around this.”
“He’s touched so many lives. He was like his own one man big brother club,” Traylor said. “Joe is golden, he’s always been a golden guy, [a] remarkable person, optimistic and thoughtful.”
Traylor said he wants the suspect to “spend his life behind bars.”
People lit candles at the vigil in his honor and promised to keep his artistic and loving spirit alive.
“Be creative, be fun,” Traylor said. “Be kind to each other, be like Joe,”