SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities in Allegan County are investigating after hunters found human skeletal remains in a wooded area on Sunday. 

The remains were recovered in Saugatuck Township near the intersection of 134th Avenue and 63rd Street, according to the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office.

“I would say that (finding remains is) probably rare, in that, it doesn’t happen all the time, but it is something that does occasionally happen,” Sheriff Frank Baker said of the investigation. 

Deputies say the person was not buried at all and had clearly been there for an extended period of time. 

Baker says his department believes the remains are tied to a missing persons case. He could not say which case until they receive additional information from the medical examiner.

“Basically, we’re awaiting for some DNA information, some others things that we’ll be able to get through the medical examiner’s offices. But we’re looking at possibilities and trying to tie different things together,” Baker said. 

Deputies are investigating the remains with the help of forensic scientists from Western Michigan University.

The person’s cause of death is still pending, authorities say. They don’t believe there was any foul play, however, they’re not ruling anything out.

“Anytime we get involved in an investigation like this, we treat it as though there is foul play, we treat it as though it is a homicide, so any potential evidence isn’t lost or destroyed,” Baker said.

Police say they will return to the scene again to ensure no evidence was left behind once the remaining snow melts.