GEORGETOWN, Ala. (WALA) --  The death of a man who remains were found buried under an abandoned house has been ruled a homicide after an autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a gunshot wound, authorities said Friday. 

The man's remains uncovered by investigators at an abandoned home Thursday morning in the Georgetown community in western Mobile County..

The house is on Lott Road west of Chunchula. There was a surprise waiting for investigators on Thursday, something Sgt. Mark Bailey has never seen before.

“In my 23 years in law enforcement, I’ve never seen a body disposed of under a structure and then the floor put back, and buried at that depth,” he said.

The unidentified remains of a man were found roughly eight feet below the surface of the ground, under a room in the home.

“That’s almost deeper than a grave at a cemetery,” Sgt. Bailey said.

Mobile County Sheriff’s Office investigators were led to the crime scene after a series of tips last year.

Thursday was the third time they have been to the home since around Christmas. The first time they brought K-9s which hit on an area of interest. Then last week they came back, but safety issues with the home forced them to postpone the dig until Thursday.

“We’re back out here for a third and final time with some heavy-duty equipment to remove the side of the residence to give us a safe area to conduct the dig,” Sgt. Bailey said.

Detectives were on scene for hours Thursday removing the remains and collecting evidence.

The cause of death is unclear pending an autopsy.

MCSO says it appears the body may have been buried since December 2020.

“The remains have been here going on 14 months so there is a good bit of decomposition and other factor that just make identification impossible at this time,” Sgt. Bailey said.

So far, investigators have been unable to positively identify the man due to the decomposition of the remains, officials said.

As for a suspect, investigators say they have several persons of interest they are talking to, but no arrests have been made.

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