Skeletal remains found along New Design Road this week showed signs of having been burned, but little else is known about the deceased person or how he or she may have died, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
A tree-trimming crew found the remains Wednesday evening in a wooded area in the 4100 block of New Design Road.
They have not been identified, and the gender of the deceased has not been determined, Detective Ron Dement said Friday.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is examining the remains. Dement said the investigation will include attempts to identify the person through dental records.
Dement said the remains were scattered around the area where the discovery was made and they were charred. He said investigators found evidence of a fire nearby.
"There were signs of a fire," Dement said. "Whether it was a campfire, we don't know."
Dement said scraps of clothing found near the remains did not help identify or determine the sex of the deceased but investigators are hoping they can reveal something about how the person died.
"We're going to take a look at the pieces of clothing, and hopefully they can help us determine if it was an accident, a homicide or something else," Dement said.
The clothing will likely be examined by personnel at both the sheriff's office and the Maryland State Police crime labs.
Dement said he didn't have a timeline about when information about the remains could come from the medical examiner.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said his office could at some point enlist the help of the public in identifying the deceased but investigators need at least a few pieces of basic information about the remains, such as sex, age, race or how long ago the person died.
"Right now, we don't even have a starting point," Jenkins said.