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Authorities tentatively identify body found by hunters in west-central Minnesota

HANCOCK, Minn.

HANCOCK, Minn. - Authorities have tentatively identified a body discovered by hunters in Minnesota's west-central Stevens County on Saturday as Jack Leroy Eisel, who was last seen in 2004 before he walked away from a Hancock group home.

Stevens County Sheriff Randy Willis said the body was tentatively confirmed as Eisel's based on identification found on the body and from clothing he was wearing when reported missing.

"It's 99.9 percent," Willis said of the identification.

The remains were recovered and were sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy and positive identification.

Willis said foul play is not suspected.

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The Sheriff's Office received a report shortly after noon Saturday that a hunting party found what they believed to be human remains in a wooded area.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Office, agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Stevens County Coroner responded to the scene.

Eisel was 40 years old when he walked away from the Hancock group home at about 6 p.m. on Nov. 26, 2004, wearing an orange stocking cap, blue jeans and a navy blue parka. He was 5-foot-9, 135 pounds and had dishwater blonde hair and a goatee beard. Law enforcement reported at the time that Eisel suffered from mental illness.

At the time, authorities were able to Eisel for a while and then search dogs lost his scent.

The Morris (Minn.) Sun-Times is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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