A human skull was found in Cowlitz County where a man went missing in August 2010.
Detectives searched the heavily wooded area about a mile from Brussat Road, where Samuel Stefonek, 29, was last seen.
Teams of K9 cadaver dogs alerted investigators to a particular area, where the skull was found, along with a partially buried piece of clothing.
Detectives said the skull has not yet been positively identified as Stefonek, but they still alerted his parents about the discovery.
Deputies said they attempted to contact Stefonek at his parents' home in Kelso on Aug. 8, 2010, regarding a domestic violence report by his girlfriend.
Investigators said he wasn't there, but an hour later a nearby homeowner called 911 to report a man on his property, identified as Stefonek.
Stefonek left through the woods prior to deputies arriving. Deputies said they had probable cause to arrest him for assault.
On Aug. 12, 2010, Stefonek's parents called to report their son missing. They had been out of town since Aug. 8 and were not able to reach him by phone. None of his friends reported seeing him, either.
During the investigation in 2010, Stefonek's parents told Fox 12 they believed foul play was involved in his disappearance.
The only detail released by investigators about the skull is that there is no evidence of trauma. The coroner will determine the cause of death.
Before Saturday's discovery, the only clues in the case were Stefonek's phone, which was located about two weeks after he went missing, and two articles of clothing.
Since August 2010, the woods have been searched five times by more than six different search and rescue teams.
If you know anything about this case, call detective Todd McDaniel at 360-577-3092.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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