“We recovered skeletal remains,” Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward said.
The remains, which have not been identified, were discovered about 10 a.m. during a search of the woods behind Hagood Avenue Baptist Church by “a team of recovery officers from around the state,” Barnwell Police Chief Todd Gantt said.
The team was searching for 29-year-old Ryan Scott Caudill, who was last seen April 29 running into the woods behind the church.
Ward said he has a “strong suspicion” of the identity of the remains, but would not elaborate.
He said the remains will be sent Monday to a forensic anthropologist in Columbia. Ward will also analyze and compare medical and dental records to help determine the identity.
There was no determination on the cause of death.
“It’s way too early,” Ward said.