Law enforcement officials are investigating the discovery of human remains in a wooded area south of Brainerd, Minn.
Although law enforcement is in the beginning stages of identifying the body, it had similar clothing as that worn by Marc Welzant, a developmentally disabled man who went missing near Brainerd in 2014, family members said Sunday, March 26.
Marc Welzant's brother, Dave Welzant, described the development as a possible source of closure to the family that could answer the question of what happened to his brother.
"We just have to wait and see, to find out if it's Marc or not," Welzant said. "Hopefully we find out sooner than later."
The remains will be sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner to determine positive identification of the body, reported the Brainerd Police Department.
Welzant described the area where the body was found as rough terrain south of Brainerd. He found out about the discovery Saturday evening.
A Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office vehicle was stationed just off Business Highway 371 near Buffalo Creek about 3 miles south of Brainerd Sunday. The deputy told a Brainerd Dispatch newspaper photographer the area was off limits.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl confirmed only that remains believed to be human were found. He declined to confirm the body matched the description of Welzant.
"We can't jump to conclusions or anything like that yet," he said.
Dahl said more information would be released as it becomes available.
Welzant disappeared Oct. 26, 2014. He was recorded on video at the Holiday Gas Station on South Sixth Street in Brainerd shortly before 3 p.m. In addition, Brainerd police received a report at 4:30 p.m. from a group of people who saw Welzant heading west on the walking trail at Kiwanis Park.
Initial searches included the areas of Kiwanis Park to the Buster Dog Park, the Buffalo Hills Trail, behind the Brainerd Water Plant, as well as the woods between the Mississippi River to Central Lakes College.
Welzant turned 50 years old this month. He was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome at 2 years of age, a rare genetic disorder that can result in a range of physical, mental and behavioral problems.
Welzant is described as having brown hair, brown eyes and being about 5 feet, 2 inches tall.
He was last seen wearing dark sweat pants, a dark green jacket and tennis shoes.
Those with information regarding Welzant's disappearance are asked to contact the Brainerd Police Department at 218-829-2805.
Brainerd Dispatch reporters Spenser Bickett and Jennifer Stockinger contributed to this report.