Police are investigating after human skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near a Greenwood shopping center.

The remains were found by a man who went to the area, near Emerson Avenue and County Line Road, looking for his adult son who had been missing for about five weeks, Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth said.

The wooded area is off Emerson Avenue, between the Goodwill Outlet Store and the shopping center that includes Walmart.

Story continues below gallery

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

That area is known to police as a spot where drug users will gather, Fillenwarth said.

The man who had been searching for his son told police his son is a drug user and he had found him at the wooded area before, and decided to look there again when he had not heard from him in weeks, Fillenwarth said.

The remains have not been identified.

Police will investigate the death as a homicide until they find evidence that shows otherwise, Fillenwarth said.

The remains were not buried, and a small amount of clothing was found nearby, he said. Investigators will likely need to use DNA or dental records to identify the body, he said.

On Wednesday afternoon, police continued to search the area for evidence. Investigators could decide to ask for the assistance of the University of Indianapolis Archeology and Forensics Laboratory, which has helped police with gathering human remains in the past across the state, he said.

The area, which used to be the site of a commercial plumbing business, is overgrown and wooded, and searching the entire property will take time, Fillenwarth said.

Author photo
Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.