. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Office of the Medical Investigator has identified human remains found earlier this year near Carlsbad.

The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office was contacted Jan. 9 by a hunter who located the remains near Fisherman’s Lane and State Road 31. Due to the level of decomposition, immediate identification was impossible and was left to the OMI to determine through physical evidence and medical records.

The ECSO reports the body was identified as that of Manuel Rodriguez Pineda Jr. of Carlsbad. Pineda was reported missing Sept. 7, 2015, by his family.

Chief Deputy Mark Cage says the ECSO’s detective division is continuing to investigate the death. Anyone with potential information is asked to contact the ECSO at 575-887-7551 or, anonymously, Crime Stoppers of Eddy County at 575-887-1888.