Skeletal remains discovered in a shallow grave near the Eel River in Mendocino County were possibly those of a white man between the age of 25 and 45, Mendocino County sheriff's officials said.

Investigators Tuesday received a report from the Chico State University human identification laboratory where students analyzed the remains discovered Oct. 30 near Piercy, Lt. Greg Van Patten said.

Researchers believe the man stood between 5-foot-11 and 6-foot-5, an analysis developed in part by the length of the femur bone, Van Patten said.

Sheriff's detectives also sent bone to a Department of Justice laboratory in Richmond where staff will extract marrow and develope a DNA profile to enter into a national database, Van Patten said.

That database includes the DNA of family members of people reported missing that could help connect a person to the remains.

"That gives us a better direction, but it doesn't give us a firm path yet," toward solving the case, Van Patten said.

A hiker walking along the river found the remains in October after spotting a shoe in an area off rural Highway 271.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Sheriff's Office tip line at 234-2100.