ATHENS, Tenn. (WATE) — An investigation is underway after human remains were found last week off Highway 30 west of Athens, according to the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Joe Guy stated in a press release sent Monday morning that sheriff’s deputies responded to the report Thursday, Oct. 19 just after 10 a.m. after hunters found what appeared to be skeletal human remains in a wooded area off Highway 30 west of Athens, near County Rd. 119, in the area of the Double C and Friendly City Body Shop.

“Our deputies spoke with the group of hunters, who directed them to the site several yards off the highway,” Sheriff Guy said. “The area was immediately secured as a possible crime scene.”

Deputies and detectives processed the scene, and located and collected the partial human remains. A full investigation is underway with the assistance of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and members of the District Attorney General’s Office. 

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Guy also said the remains were sent to the Knox County Regional Forensics Center.