St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell identified the skeletal remains as those of Forest Amell, 21, of Pell City.
Russell said Thursday that Amell’s cause of death was determined as a gunshot wound to the head, but the manner of death is still undetermined.
He said the skeletal remains were identified through dental records.
Authorities said children playing in a wooded area about a half mile off 20th Street North stumbled upon the remains.
The Pell City Police Department was notified of the possible human skeleton late Friday.
Sgt. Don Newton, public information officer for the Pell City Police Department, said police secured the scene where the bones were scattered late Friday, and early Saturday morning forensic experts from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences processed the scene, which was treated as a crime scene.
He said a cell phone, identification card and firearm were recovered from the scene.
Police Chief Greg Turley said the case is still under investigation.
“We still have a lot of unanswered questions, but we will get there,” Turley said. “You can’t rush anything like this.”
He said the Pell City Police Department is relying on many outside resources.
“It may be months before the investigation is complete,” he said. “There are a lot of things to go through.”
Newton said shortly after Amell’s disappearance ground and air searches were conducted in the general area where the skeletal remains were recovered, but searchers failed to locate the man, who was a cook at the Waffle House in Pell City.
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