A gold ring with a red stone was found with the remains discovered this week along I-90 near Albert Lea, the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday morning. Officials are hoping details about that ring, plus a pair of shoes, will help identify the body.

The 10-karat gold ring, shaped like a class ring, features a large red stone. The shoes, made by the Mario De Gerard brand, "are in such poor condition that photos won’t be useful," according to the sheriff's office.

The first phase of an autopsy, performed Wednesday, is complete. The cause of death has not been determined, a news release stated. The second, more detailed phase will be conducted soon.

From Tuesday's story:

Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag said that the bones appear to be from a man and, judging from their condition, have been lying next to the highway’s south side for several years.

On Monday, a man whose property abuts the highway was collecting litter near its fence when a round object caught his eye, Freitag said. “He looked even closer at it and saw it was a skull.”

The man called Freitag, who posted a guard at the site and alerted the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which has been helping with the investigation. Early Tuesday morning, agents cut away the brush, dead branches and saplings to get to the bones, some of which had sunk a couple inches into the soil.

“I could see how all this time, no one saw it from the road,” Freitag said by phone Tuesday.

There are no active missing person cases in Freeborn County. The sheriff's office is asking people with information to call 507-377-5205.