BEND, Ore. - The investigation into whose remains were found west of Detroit Lake continues. Tuesday, Marion County Sheriffs deputies said hunters found the skeletal remains near Niagara Falls Park along Highway 22.
Deputies say the remains were discovered in a forested area, away from the North Santiam River.
Deputies were called to a remote area of the canyon Saturday morning on a report that skeletal remains had been discovered. The call was received shortly before 9 a.m.
"At this time, we believe they are human remains but no positive identification has been made," the agency said in a Tuesday morning update. The bones will be sent to the state Medical Examiner's Office for examination.
When the news broke over the weekend, thoughts from many immediately turned to the Lori Blaylock case. She was killed by her husband Stephen in October 2010. He admitted during trial to dumping her body in the North Santiam River.
That river flows into Detroit Lake, near where the remains where found, sparking speculation that this case could finally be closed.
Richelle Hartman, a long-time friend of Lori's spoke to NewsChannel 21 Tuesday, she said she has been on Cloud 9 and filled with mixed emotions since the discovery.
"We are coming up on the two-year mark of her being missing," said Hartman. "I was just very optimistic that I hope that they are (her) remains."
Friends of Blaylock say she loved Central Oregon, in particular the snow, and she always had a way of making them smile.
In November of 2010 more than 100 people showed up at Drake Park to pray for the missing woman. In May of this year, Blaylock's friends came together again, to raise more than $1,000 for a memorial plaque.
Since the fund-raiser, a bench and plague has been placed at Riverbend Park in honor of the Bend woman.
"It's a nice place to go and reflect and share memories of Lori," said Hartman.
The money left over from the fund-raiser went to Saving Grace, a non-profit that helps those affected by domestic abuse.
Marion County deputies on Tuesday could no provide any further details on the identity of the remains. They added that investigators were still at the scene, looking for more remains. What was found has been sent to the state Medical Examiners Office.
Officials say it could take weeks before the positively identify the remains.
Aanyone with information about the case was encouraged to contact Detective Mike Myers at Mmyers@co.marion.or.us. You may anonymously leave information on the Marion County Sheriff's Office Tip Line: 503.540.8079.