OCALA, Fla. – Detectives are investigating after a 48-year-old man's remains were found in the Ocala National Forest, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said a man who had been hunting in the forest noticed what he thought were deer scratchings on the ground about 200 yards into a trail off Forest Road 5 as he was walking to his tree stand.
The hunter returned later, noticed leaves covering the area and thought it looked suspicious, so he asked his friend to bring a shovel, according to deputies.
After clearing the brush and digging, the man said he found something that "smelled really bad like death" and had his friend contact an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, deputies said.
Authorities responded and closed off the area with crime scene tape.
In an update Wednesday, authorities said the remains were identified as those of Daniel Allen Jones, 48, of Ocala. Deputies did not say how long Jones was missing before his remains were found.
The case is classified as a death investigation, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Anyone with information about the remains is asked to call Sheriff's Office detectives at 352-732-9111.