Hunters in rural Stevens County on Saturday discovered the body of a man tentatively identified as Jack Leroy Eisel, who was last seen in November 2004 before he walked away from a Hancock group home.
Stevens County Sheriff Randy Willis said the body was tentatively confirmed as Eisel's based on identification found on the body and from clothing he was wearing when reported missing in Nov. 26, 2004.
The remains were recovered and were sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy and positive identification, and no foul play is suspected. Willis said the ID is almost positive.
"It's 99.9 percent," he said.
The Sheriff's Office received a report shortly after noon on Saturday that a hunting party found what they believed to be human remains in a wooded area.
Deputies from the Sheriff's Office, agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Stevens County Coroner responded to the scene.
Eisel was 40 years old when he walked away from the Hancock group home at about 6 p.m. on Nov. 26, 2004, wearing an orange stocking cap, blue jeans and a navy blue parka. He was 5-foot-9, 135 pounds and had dish-water blonde hair and a goatee beard. Law enforcement reported at the time that Eisel suffered from mental illness.
Law enforcement tracked Eisel to Highway 9 and then search dogs lost his scent.