Western Wisconsin authorities have identified bones found 2½ years ago as belonging to a man from New Prague, Minn., who is considered to be a victim of homicide.

The remains of Gary A. Herbst, 63, were located south of Barron in December 2017 and identified as his by state investigators.

"The manner of death is now being investigated as a homicide and is an active case in the Sheriff's Department, and no further comment on the case can be made at this time," Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a statement. No arrests have been announced.

In March 2018, Fitzgerald said that a bullet hole in the skull led authorities to suspect homicide in the death of the man whose skeletal remains were found along a road.

On Dec. 3, 2017, a dog brought home part of the skull, and deputies soon located a full set of remains from a wooded area south of Barron on 10th Avenue.

Fitzgerald said then there was no gun at the scene and no shell casings, virtually eliminating the possibility that the wound was self-inflicted.

He added that the body "was probably dumped by the side of the road. This did not happen there."

Fitzgerald said law enforcement on the case was assisted in determining the identity by the DNA Doe Project, a volunteer organization based in California, which helps authorities solve especially challenging "Jane and John Doe" mysteries around the country.