Authorities: skeletal remains likely that of missing Nacogdoches Co. man

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Investigators from the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office have tentatively identified the skeletal human remains found in a densely wooded area off County Road 336 in early October.

"We've likely determined the man's identity," Gary Cunningham, the SACSO's chief deputy, said. "We believe that the remains are of a Nacogdoches County man that went missing eight years ago, but we're waiting on the results of the DNA analysis before we say that we're certain it's him."

Cunningham said the remnants of clothing found near the man's remains were in such a state of deterioration that it indicated the body had been there for years. In addition, family members of the missing Nacogdoches County man confirmed that some of the evidence found at the scene belonged to him.

Determining the cause of death may be altogether more difficult. Cunningham said there were visible or readily identifiable wounds that would have indicated a cause of death.

"We will continue to work on this, but with investigations like these, there comes a point where you just can't go any further," Cunningham said.

Cunningham stressed that SACSO is assisting the Texas Rangers and the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office in the investigation. Chief Deputy Tom Masten was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.

A logging crew discovered the remains on Oct. 8. After investigators arrived on the scene, they sent photos of the skeletal remains to a forensic anthropologist, who confirmed that the bones were human.

The boxes were boxed and shipped to North Texas in hopes of determining the cause of death and who the person was. Back in October, Cunningham said he had no knowledge of who it might be, but did confirm a vehicle was towed from the area a long time ago.

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