LAS CRUCES — A local anthropologist out on a walk near his home found the human remains in the desert outside Vado, according to the initial incident report released Friday by the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department.

The man, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said he first noticed a shiny belt buckle in the area near Bishop's Cap. He approached it, planning to flip it over, when he noticed a leg bone.

The man said he suspected it was human, a theory confirmed in his mind, when he found a jaw bone. Other bones were scattered over an area about 50 yards in diameter, he said.

The man said he called his wife to bring work equipment. They marked the scene with small pin flags and GPS gear while waiting for sheriff's deputies.

Investigators working late into the night, had an official camp at the scene and continued to collect evidence the next morning. They released photos of a shoe and a belt buckle with an L-shape design found with the remains.

A sheriff's department spokeswoman said investigators have eliminated some reported missing persons as possible matches.

Anyone who might be able to identify the buckle, or with information on anyone who might have gone missing in that area of Doña Ana County is asked to call the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department at 575-525-8897 or Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can also send a tip via text message to CRIMES (274637), keyword LCTIPS.