SAUCIER, MS (WLOX) - Chad Bosarge knows the woods near Oak Drive in Saucier well.
He and his cousin, Paul Trotter, were looking for scrap metal Tuesday afternoon when they stumbled upon something else.
"I looked down, and there was a skull. A human skull."
In fact, the duo says it was a fully intact skeleton.
"At first I thought maybe it come from a health class or something, you know," Bosarge said. "I didn't know what to think. Of course, I didn't believe it, you know. I was like, 'There's no way, there's no way.' But I took a stick, and I kind of just touched the skull, and it made a sound. Man, and as soon as I heard it, man, we got out of there and I called 911 immediately."
At the site remains evidence of a long-term stay: a blanket, pillows, a wine bottle and a make-shift fire pit.
Both men believe they know who the person was, although the remains have not been officially identified. The cousins say the man they believe is the victim was in his late 50s or early 60s, and a family friend who at one time rented a room in the house where Bosarge now stays with his girlfriend and her mother. The man believed to be the victim had been missing for five - six months
The home is just yards away from the site where the skeleton was found.
"I asked myself over and over how we couldn't have noticed this, you know," Bosarge said. "Because obviously, he burned fires and stuff. I just don't understand how we didn't see it. It's one of those things, man. It's really awful."
"There's a reason we went back there," Trotter said. "The Lord works in mysterious ways. Because we almost didn't go back there. But, we went looking for the scrap. Seen some metal back there where he was and walked over and there he was."
Crime scene investigators confirmed the remains were human. Lt. Cole Judy said the remains appear to be of a man.
"We have an idea of who it might be," Judy said, adding it's not someone who had been reported missing. "It was a full skeleton, out in the open. An autopsy is needed to get an ID so the next of kin can be notified."
Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove says the body has been sent to the state crime lab for analysis.