SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- A human skull and other pieces of bone were found in a rural area of San Clemente, Orange County sheriff's officials said.
The disturbing discovery was made by hikers Thursday afternoon along a hillside close to Avenida Pico near Vera Cruz.
Upon investigation, deputies and coroner's officials determined the remains were human.
Sheriff's officials confirmed on Friday that a skull with some teeth intact and other bone pieces were found. Authorities said the remains appear very old.
While the team spent hours scouring through the dense hillside, people who live in the quiet beach town began to gather, wanting to know why.
They said the canyon has been the site of a homeless encampment in the past.
Per protocol, homicide investigators will take over the investigation, hopeful that teeth in the skull can help them identify the remains.
Human skull found in rural area of San Clemente