BUFORD, Ga. -- Police are now trying to decipher a potentially gruesome mystery after the find of a human skull and bones inside a suitcase in Buford, Ga.
Now the search is on for information on who these remains belong to - and what happened to them.
The bones and skull will be processed by the medical examiner. Once they have an identity, they can start researching missing persons cases.
For now, the discovery is startling, and the case is a mystery hidden in almost plain sight.
It's likely that many cars have driven right past the spot where these remains were found and others have likely spent time in the very same woods - never knowing such a bizarre discovery was just moments or feet away.
A construction worker can no longer count himself among them after he walked into the woods on Friday.
"He noticed something suspicious," Corporal Michele Pihera of the Gwinnett County Police Department said.
That's when they said he found the human skull and the bones in the luggage - a suitcase police believe had been there for a long time.
"The skull did not appear to belong to a very young person," Pihera said.
Police said the worker, an employee of a Georgia Department of Transportation contractor, was taking a walk when he made the discovery only about 80 yards inside.
Now, it's up to the medical examiner to figure out who these bones belong to. Then investigators will work backwards, sifting through Gwinnett County missing persons cases.
"We'll try to see if any of those match up to the remains here today," Pihera said. "If they don't, we'll have to throw our net a little wider; go to surrounding agencies outside Gwinnett County borders. If we have to, we'll go even further than that."
But this is a complex case and considering that the bones were found along a major interstate traversed by thousands of cars every day, this case could be tough to crack.
Gwinnett investigators will use mostly DNA and dental records to help identify the remains.
They also invite those who believe they have helpful information about this find to call Crime Stoppers.