Remains found in southwest Missouri last month have been identified as those of a Joplin man who was reported missing in September.

The Joplin Globe reports investigators consider the cause of 45-year-old Jonny Slater's death as suspicious. His remains were discovered June 3 near Carterville, eight miles northeast of Joplin.

Jasper County sheriff's spokesman Capt. Derek Walrod says medical records were used to make a tentative identification of the remains. The bones have been sent to a forensic laboratory in Texas for DNA verification.

A surveyor made the discovery in a brushy, wooded area on private property to which Walrod says Slater has no known connections.

Slater's friends told police when they reported him missing on Sept. 4 that they had not heard from him for a week.

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