A preliminary investigation shows the human remains found behind a church in Abbeville belong to a man said Henry County Sheriff Will Maddox.
The remains were found in a gully behind the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church off of Highway 95 North.
Thursday morning a private investigator found bones and clothing while searching for another missing person.
Investigators believe the remains have been there for about a year and a half.
They were taken to the forensics lab in Montgomery early Friday morning.
Maddox expected the results Friday, but the lab has been backed up for a while because of state budget cuts.
They could get to the remains Saturday, but it will most likely be Monday or Tuesday before a positive identification is made.
Once they do, his first priority is to notify the family.
Then, they aim to find the person responsible.
"If it is foul play, whoever is responsible for doing this needs to be punished to the extent of the law," said Maddox.
Investigators were out there past dark Thursday night. They were able to find more evidence at the scene that could lead to a suspect.