Skeletal remains found last summer beside New Design Road are those of a Virginia man who disappeared 19 months ago under suspicious circumstances.
Oscar Velasco Montano, 29, of Springfield, was last seen July 9, 2011, by a co- worker at his construction job at Tysons Corner Center, a shopping mall in McLean. His family reported him missing two days later.
Fairfax County Police are investigating the case as a homicide, according to Capt. Tim Clarke, of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore has ruled Montano's death a homicide, spokesman Bruce Goldfarb said. Goldfarb said he could not reveal the cause of death.
A tree-trimming crew found the bones Aug. 8 in the woods 10 to 15 yards in the 4100 block of New Design Road. The spot is across the road from a farmer's field and just a few hundred yards from a small row of houses.
The remains were charred, and deputies found evidence of a fire nearby, according to the sheriff's office. Investigators believe animals scattered the bones around the immediate area.
Fairfax County Police contacted the sheriff's office after information about the discovery was released to law enforcement agencies across the region, Clarke said.
"They called us and said they were working on a missing persons case they believed was a homicide," Clarke said.
Montano was identified through DNA testing, Clarke said.
A wooden cross bearing Montano's name and several bouquets of flowers had been set near the spot where the bones were found. Sheriff's deputies removed the cross Thursday.
Fairfax County Police planned to take action in the case Thursday evening and thought premature public identification would undermine their efforts, Clarke said.
According to a Facebook page set up by Montano's family and friends called "Help Find Oscar L. Velasco Montano," Montano, a native of Bolivia, told his supervisor he was going out with friends after work on the day he disappeared.
Montano's sister found his minivan at the mall July 10, 2011, but it was gone when she went back the next day, according to the page.
The page made no specific mention of where Montano's remains were found; one post by a commenter indicated that his body was found in a field. A Dec. 27 post in Spanish stated that the family had been told of his death but made no mention of the circumstances.
Officer Don Gotthardt, Fairfax County Police spokesman, said police would not comment on Montano's disappearance and death until the planned action in the case was completed.