SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (9/10/2018) - Police are trying to determine the identity of human remains found in Saginaw County on Sunday afternoon.
A hunter checking trail cameras was following a deer through a remote wooded area along Chapin Road in the southwest part of the county around 4 p.m., according to the Saginaw County Sheriff's Office.
The hunter, who owns the property, said he found a boot along a trail and then discovered what appeared to be a human skull. He called police, who immediately launched an investigation.
A Michigan State Police crime lab was at the scene until late Sunday evening.
Police believe the remains have been in the woods for quite a while -- mostly likely years. Investigators are poring over past missing persons cases to start trying to determine the identity.
Neighbors in the area say they have never seen this amount of police activity.
"We thought it was just a drug deal," said Charles Sawvel, who lives in the rural part of southwestern Saginaw County. "There was helicopters flying around all the time. We thought someone got busted back there."
Bob Gossett, who lives next door to the property, believes it is used primarily for hunting. The land is owned by Blackberry Ridge Hunt Club based in Lake Orion, according to county records.
"When I went out to ask them what they were looking for, if I could help, he said they already found what the were looking for," Gossett said.
The remains are in the custody of a Michigan State Police crime lab for forensic analysis to determine the identity and the cause of death.